The Crossings

Young Adult - Coming of Age
176 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2015
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Author Biography

Barry Kienzle was born, raised and educated in northern Kentucky and is in every sense, a Kentucky boy, proud of his heritage and the state he calls home. As such, he is very familiar with its history and culture and feels honored his first novel, "The Crossings," is a story with northern Kentucky origins.
Barry studied Accounting at Northern Kentucky University, became a CPA and worked primarily in the accounting and finance areas in construction and real estate development companies, currently as CFO. As he nears retirement, he is venturing toward a second career in writing and felt compelled to begin it with a novel about an amazing venture of his father's who, in 1932 hopped a freight train and rode it to new Orleans to see Mardi Gras.
Barry's devotion to the community has led him to serve on many boards over time including Habitat for Humanity, senior citizens groups, school and other capital raising campaigns and other not-for-profit organizations. He currently serves as President of the northern Kentucky University Foundation.

    Book Review

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.