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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
An Adventurous Childhood: An African-American Coming of Age Story in New Bern, North Carolina is a nonfiction memoir written by Malcolm Elliott. The author and his family moved three times as he was growing up: from Queen Street to Jones Street to First Street, where he attended middle and high school, and Craven Terrace, where he finished school. While they lived on Queen Street, his mom and siblings shared the house with the author’s grandmother and his Uncle James. His mom, being the sole support for her kids, worked full-time, meaning much of his early life was spent in the care of his grandmother, a woman he remembers for her sweet tooth and her propensity to blame him for his younger brother Michael's antics. Each move meant new experiences and new opportunities to make friends.
An Adventurous Childhood is an engaging and well-written look back at a time before the internet, when kids had adventures within their own neighborhoods. I loved reading about his fishing trips, sharing in his reminiscences of each neighborhood they lived in, and reliving his discovery of the money pile. Elliott also eloquently addresses segregation and its impact on his educational opportunities. His memoir is very much a coming of age tale, complete with sibling rivalry, girls, and the wonder of growing up. Elliott's memoirs are sheer pleasure to read. An Adventurous Childhood: An African-American Coming of Age Story in New Bern, North Carolina is most highly recommended.