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Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite
The Crossings by Barry Kienzle is a delightful coming of age story that follows young George “Georgie” Martin as he hops on a freight train from his home near Cincinnati, Ohio, determined to experience the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Georgie, once an innocent altar boy, crosses paths with many unique individuals. From each, he learns a valuable life lesson. Georgie’s experiences help him to grow from a child into a man, from a naïve little boy into a wiser soul. Georgie is dealt a significant blow during his journey, and it is during this journey that he learns the importance of depending upon oneself and others, the importance of self-sufficiency as well as inter-connectedness.
Barry Kienzle’s debut work is a lovely story of adventure, growth and maturation. It would appeal to readers young and old, but is targeted towards a young adult audience, a niche it fits well. The Crossings has many lessons to teach its readers, but not in a preachy, interminable fashion. I found the book to be an easy to follow read, short enough to read in one afternoon, and very well worth the time. It is clear that Mr. Kienzle spent a great deal of time researching the time period in which this story takes place, the 1930s, and that this book was very lovingly written. Based on an actual experience in the life of the author’s father, this book was a joy to read. Through Georgie’s travels, we are taken along on his passage from boy to man, and it’s a trip worth taking.