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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
Born in Brooklyn in 1953, a young teenager is about to enter one of the most exciting and notorious decades of modern times. The 1960s where music, fashion, lifestyles, and morals were turned on their heads. Major news events such as the moon landings, the Vietnam war, Woodstock and the JFK assassination are seen through the eyes of a teenager longing to embark on his own life adventure. Sandy recounts his encounters with girls, hallucinating drugs, and the drudgery and confines of school and authority in general. What was it like to be part of the Anti War and The Days Of Rage Movement of 1969? Follow Sandy as he longs to find adventure, excitement, and love in a decade that was in turmoil. This heartfelt and witty memoir, Kid69 by Sandy McKnight, is a coming of age story that will stay with you long after the final page is read.
The author has a natural ability for storytelling, the flowing narrative had me hooked from the start. The characters were interesting, unique and described in such a way I could truly relate to them. The description of the high school Dean had to be my favorite: 'He was round, with a slightly annoyed look that wouldn’t go away. I immediately felt uneasy.' Absolutely brilliant. The dialogue was sharp, witty and revealed the personality of each character perfectly. I loved the references to growing up in the 1960s. Although it was a little before my time, the stories about Woodstock, Vietnam and other important events of that era were really interesting. The illustrations and newspaper clippings throughout were a great addition, especially for someone from a later generation. My favorite part of the book had to be Sandy's interaction with the businessman on the train after he had taken acid. I was literally laughing out loud. “Excuse me, sir. I took some acid and I’m freaking out a bit. I wonder if you could just talk to me for a while until I calm down.” Sandy's story will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions as he tries to overcome hurdles in his life and tries to make sense of the world while adulthood and the pressure to conform to society's expectations loom. Whether you grew up in the 1960s or not, this well-written and comical memoir will have you riveted.