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Young Jackie Riddick’s journey is haunted by the premature death of his father, the horrific abuse by his stepfather in Baltimore, and a harrowing escape to a small New Jersey town. Jackie is a promising athlete striving for hard-earned recognition. Like so many fatherless boys, his search for identity, knowledge, and acceptance is hindered by the absence of a positive role model.

As Jackie develops into an outstanding athlete, his popularity soars—but he becomes confused as he begins the transition to manhood. He desperately seeks the life skills essential to his quest, finding a mentor in his baseball coach, Osa Martin, a former star in the Negro Leagues. Coach Martin recognizes the great potential in his gifted athlete but also understands the turbulence and unrest causing problems in Jackie’s life. Jackie survives the turmoil of teenage life and the loss of his idol Buddy Holly, but adulthood brings a series of unexpected defeats and sorrows, overriding and crushing his youthful pleasures and joyfulness.

From the hardscrabble hills of Appalachia to the inner cities of the northeast, Magic and Loss captures the changing times in America in the latter half of the twentieth century, depicting the social, economic, and political turbulence through the lives of one family struggling against overwhelming odds. Author John David Wells crafts an absorbing coming-of-age novel that portrays the spirit, innocence, and magic of an American generation growing up in the 1950s.

Published: iUniverseBooks on
ISBN: 9781491714812
List price: $3.99
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