Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos

Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos

by Joel Everett Harding


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Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos by Joel Everett Harding

In this remarkable and moving memoir the author relates the startling boyhood he spent traveling across 1950s America with his restless parents before interstate highways were invented, bumping into reality at every turn. It abounds in adventure and nostalgia as though Tom Sawyer and Kevin Arnold of "The Wonder Years" were combined in one boy leaving a trail of shenanigans from coast to coast. His encounters with strange landscapes, curious people, and dubious caretakers dangle lessons in life for his taking, and sometimes leaving. When his parents abandon him on a lonely highway at six years old, however, trust in others suffers. As he struggles to make sense of it other events accumulate, sometimes humorous, heartwarming, even harrowing, and a growing sense of unease mounts with increasing turbulence that infects and threatens the family.

When calm eventually seems to be restored he learns his whole childhood was a deception and a startling new reality sweeps him toward the edge of an emotional chasm of discontent that threatens to swallow and imprison him forever. He realizes he must find a hidden door to his future before he is finally thrust unprepared to face the world as an adult, where the only road remaining open points towards a wasted life ahead.

"Vagabond Boy" is a true story of resilience and perseverance by a boy discovering himself and the difficult world he encountered. Yet the work also offers a deeper inspirational message for today's readers who struggle with their past in an ambiguous and fragmented culture, precisely where most of us still live today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482337525
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Pages: 342
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Joel Everett Harding has professional credentials in a variety of scientific fields, including river geomorphic restoration, bioengineering design, ecosystem ecology and animal and human behavior. He has been a scientist to private industry, federal, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. When he is not writing and otherwise working he spends his time in the Piedmont with his family photographing and painting the landscape, tending his gardens and koi pond. This is his first published book.

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Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I had read somewhere in a newspaper that it was an interesting book and I thought it was a local author. Not sure about that but it held my interest. It was well written, funny and sad. I'd highly recommend it.
gaele More than 1 year ago
It is always refreshing to find a memoir that can detail more difficult experiences yet leave readers with a sense of having been there, with concepts universal to everyone no matter their upbringing.  Incredibly well written, with the ability to express and convey emotions, express humor and present the story with a touch of remove needed to keep the story from becoming maudlin or feeling overly judgmental, this story captivated me early on. Presenting vignettes and scenes not uncommon to early black and white television shows, presenting the façade of Americana, if not the actuality lived by the author and his family.   Overall this is a story that shows one person’s journey and ability to move forward and overcome difficult circumstances to live a contented life, a good lesson for those of us who let circumstances and fears hold us back.  I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.