Book 3 of The Croy Cycle
Last year, Mally Jacobs was the weird kid in town, but that was before he spent the summer in New York City, witnessed the Stonewall riots, and kissed his first boyfriend. Now he’s back in Oklahoma, calling himself “Jake” and using his newfound basketball skills to impress his friends. Joanie Tibbits and Randy Edom helped him through his awkward sophomore year, when his feelings for other boys first emerged. But this year Joanie is busy writing editorials she hopes will guide their school through the first year of racial integration. And Randy starts pulling away from them both for reasons he won’t explain. Jake is torn. He feels he’s earned his new popularity, but hiding who he really is has a cost, and he isn’t the only one who will pay.
Set in the same Oklahoma town as If I Remember Him and Comfort Me, this third book in the cycle starts in the summer of 1969 and follows Jake and his friends as they mature and begin to find their place in the adult world. The setting and characters continue from the previous books, but Jacob’s Ladder stands alone as a complete story in its own right.
Judith Lancaster –
Jacob’s Ladder by Loius Flint Ceci, with illustrations by Jennifer Rain Crosby
I feel I am still in Croy, having just finished reading Jacob’s Ladder, the third book of Ceci’s series. My mind is filled with thoughts of Jake, Joanie and Randy, their school mates, parents and neighbors and I didn’t want the book to end!
As the cover suggests, basketball is very important to the whole community, but the hardwood is not the only focus of attention. There are delightful scenes as several characters explore their sexuality and begin to accept themselves, and as parents and neighbors intervene in well intentioned, but sometimes misplaced, ways. Interactions, in and out of school, with our protagonists and several new characters, some good and some bad, enrich the plot and provide depth. Don’t read the ending until you get there – it is beautiful, heart warming, and makes me want the fourth book, Leave Me Not alone, to come out SOON!!
Judith, Northern California.