Title: River Season
Author: Jim Black
Sharing the boyhood rites of summer in 1966 Texas with his two best friends, thirteen-year-old Jim befriends an older African-American man who tells Jim his experiences as the son of an alcoholic, a Negro League baseball player, and a black man in a racially strained community.
In a small Texas town in 1966, thirteen-year-old Jim is looking forward to a summer full of baseball, tomfoolery, and — most of all — fishing. Jim cherishes the solitude of his secluded fishing hole and is startled when he discovers a stranger named Sam, an older African American man from the other side of town, fishing in his favorite spot. Though initially troubled by the intrusion, Jim soon becomes attached to Sam, who gradually becomes a father figure to the boy. Together they form a remarkable relationship, discussing the death of Jim’s alcoholic father, Sam’s years playing baseball in the Negro Leagues, the racial tension in their community, and the confusion of Jim’s first crush. This touching novel about camaraderie and growing pains is sure to resonate with anyone who came of age in small-town America.