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Summer of '63 by Shari Landa

Summer of '63 by Shari Landa

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Book review

1963 was a pivotal year in American political and cultural history. In his engaging novel, author Rodger Aidman takes the reader back in time through the eyes of Bar Mitzvah boy Rod Noodleman. Only thirteen, Rod travels by himself aboard a Greyhound bus from his home in Miami to visit his cousins in Texas. Aboard the bus Rod sits between two pretty southern belles from Greenwood, Mississippi. Although they don’t see eye to eye about integration and which is the true religion, Judaism or Christianity, a little romance does ensue. Tex Conaway the Jewish cowboy and boyhood friend of Lyndon Johnson gives Rod a history lesson. Rod can hardly believe that Tex and LBJ ran Operation Texas in the years before WWII and smuggled 500 German Jews from Nazi Germany and into Texas. Rod’s uncle, Mayor Harry Wise is the only Jewish resident of Clarksville, Texas. He confronts religious and racial intolerance in his small southern town with strength and wisdom. At a church picnic a cross is burned atop a grassy knoll. The reader will be surprised at the reactions of Harry and Rod, the two Jews in attendance at the fiery ritual. Take a nostalgic trip back to the sixties. “Summer of ’63” captures the texture of a more innocent era. Rock and roll music echoes through its pages. The refrain ‘Two girls for every boy” reflects surfer boy Rod’s coming of age as he experiences his first kiss and other intimacies with the girls he meets. Baby boomers will love it. The characters come alive in this novel anchored by references to historical events. The summer of 1963 was a magical time. John and Jackie Kennedy occupied the Whitehouse. Foreshadowed throughout this novel is the nation-changing tragedy that will occur in Dallas on November 22nd.

Shari Landa
Date of release


Summer of '63

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