Title: River Season
Author: Jim Black
In a small Texas town in 1966, 13-year-old Jim meets Sam, who gradually becomes a father figure to the boy. Together they form a remarkable relationship, discussing among other things, the death of Jim’s alcoholic father, Sam’s years playing baseball in the Negro Leagues, & the racial tension in their community.
Set in a small Texas town in 1966, River Season traces the life of Jim, a thirteen-year-old boy who shares with his two best friends the boyhood rites of summer-baseball, playing practical jokes, telling scary tales, hanging out at the local barbershop, mowing lawns for pocket money, and teasing pretty girls. Fishing by the riverbank, however, is a pleasure Jim prefers to enjoy alone until he meets Sam, an older black man who lives on the edge of town and shares the secret of the secluded fishing hole.
Jim quickly becomes attached to Sam, who takes on the role of father figure for the boy. Together the two form a remarkable relationship, discussing the loss of Jim’s alcoholic father, Sam’s years playing baseball in the Negro Leagues, the meaning of love, the subtle-and not so subtle-racial tensions in their community, and the joys and heartbreaks of growing up. Full of tenderness and insight, River Season will appeal to all readers of fiction and especially resonate with those who grew up in a small town.