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August 2019 Indie Next List
“On the surface, Lisa Howorth’s coming-of-age story follows a group of young friends in a sleepy suburb just outside Washington, D.C., through long lazy summer days punctuated by childhood adventures. Into this setting, where WWII is still a fresh memory for many and the Cold War is heating up daily, she introduces an international cast of supporting characters whose back stories provide fascinating context and drama. By providing the details of the adults’ lives as seen through the boys’ eyes, Howorth creates a larger story while keeping her eight-year-old protagonists front and center. It’s a perfect balance. I loved it!”
— Laurie Gillman, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
Winter 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Howorth perfectly captures the voice of eight-year-old John as he describes the freedom, friendships, and heartbreak of the summer of 1959. In a quiet neighborhood outside Washington, DC, John and his friends find their own way through the aftermath of WWII, Cold War tensions, family crises, and the drama that is Washington, understanding much later that they ‘were merely flotsam and jetsam on the crazy river that life is.’”
— Margo Grimm Eule, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
It's the summer of 1959. For the families who live on Connors Lane in Washington DC, life is still defined by what one did during WWII. Behind each door lives a possible spy or Nazi sympathizer.�But it is also the summer of an inexplicable spider infestation -- surely evidence of "insect warfare" by the Russians, thinks our young narrator John, and his best friends, Ivan and Max. When a rare, scorpion-like vinegaroon is discovered and sequestered for museum study, the boys, along with their tomboy accomplice, Beatriz, hatch a risky midnight plan to steal the venomous creature for their own devious purposes. What happens next will change John's life forever.
About the Author
LISA HOWORTH was born in Washington, D.C., where her family has lived for four generations. She is a former librarian and the author of the novel Flying Shoes. She has written on art, travel, dogs, and music for the Oxford American and Garden & Gun, among other publications. Howorth lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she and her husband, Richard, founded Square Books in 1979.