Thursday, 1 December 2011

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb

About the Book

In Wally Lamb’s pitch perfect novel, it is 1964. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone’s turntable, and ten-year-old Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy. But there are several things young Felix can depend on: the birds and bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he’s never going to forget.
Harper Collins

About the Author
Wally Lamb's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Pushcart Prize XV: Best of the Small Presses; The Best of the Small Presses; The Best of the Missouri Review; Streetsongs 1: New Voices in Fiction; Northeast and The New York Times Magazine. He is the recipient of an NEA grant for fiction, and is a Missouri Review William Peden fiction prize winner. A nationally honored teacher of writing, and a graduate of the Vermont College MFA's Writing Program, Lamb lives in Connecticut with his wife and their three children. He is also the author of I Know This Much Is True.

Book Reviews
The Independent 


  1. Our reactions to Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’ were as varied as the twelve members that attended our December 14th meeting.
    On one hand, there were the members who appreciated a “light”, “laugh-out-loud” read during the busy holiday season. The book evoked memories of long gone school days, both good and bad. The world as seen through the eyes of an eleven-year-old provided a new perspective on status – the kind that can be best achieved by punching a nun!
    Others found the book “too light and fluffy”. Another disconcerting note is that for some of us this was an amusing trip down memory lane, for others it was a visit to an alien culture – a bit like time travel.
    School memories flooded back for those of us whose young lives were lived in rooms filled with “blackboards, lunch counters, in-class rows organizing according to academic level or reading level”. For our former teachers it brought back the memories of novel studies with grade four students: the good Fantastic Mr. Fox and Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We realized that there is a point for each teacher where one may have conducted perhaps just one too many novel study.

  2. a Fireside Reader17 February 2012 at 16:13

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