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Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?
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Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  386 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
“Hilarious, touching, beautiful . . .” —Detroit News

“A totally enjoyable novel with at least one laugh on every page.” —Fresno Bee
“. . . you’ll never forget it.” —Publishers Weekly

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side in the 1960s, Eddie Ryan is learning a lot—and not just from the Brothers at his all-boys Catholic high school. Eddie’s world is populated by peculiar adults, o
Paperback, 312 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Loyola Classics (first published 1975)
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Best Catholic Fiction
53rd out of 230 books — 224 voters
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21st out of 195 books — 55 voters

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Community Reviews

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Apr 15, 2011 Carei rated it it was amazing
This was the best kept secret in Jr. High School. I read it and couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of it! I didn't let anyone else know about it cuz I just knew it would be removed from the library and this was before anyone thought of removing books from the library!
It was so sexy and provocative, I just LOVED it. I'd never read anything like it in my life. Very MEMORABLE book.
May 10, 2015 Josephine rated it liked it
An irreverent and funny look back at a Catholic childhood and an education at a Catholic boy's school. I could empathise so well with much of the book as I went to a girl's convent school in the 1960s. I was surprised how much there was in common although I live in England and the book is set in Chicago USA. I found the title of the book so funny. I don't know where the story of the patent leather shoes shining upwards came from but it always seems that a friend's older sister heard it from her ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Melody rated it it was amazing
This is a 'go to' book for me. Anytime I want to read something fun and funny - this is the book I grab. I first read this book in high school and have reread it at least once every couple of years. I still laugh out loud when I read it. The story telling is great. It has a great flow and character development. A truly enjoyable read.
GreatNorthern Wisconsin
Apr 30, 2008 GreatNorthern Wisconsin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
John Power's book is a wonderfully touching book about pre-Vatican II Catholicism and more specifically life in the South Side of Chicago. Even more specifically in the area of how Catholics perceived the world in 1964 and how the world viewed us, I mean Catholics.

Sorry to have let that slip, but all too often the Catholic Church has been viewed as a monolith. It ain't. There are so many different ways that Eddie Ryan viewed faith and friends in high school, ranging from hope, annoyance, confor
Steven Schwope
This comedic musical follows eight catholic school children all the way from the start of elementary school through their senior prom. As we see their experiences with confessions, puppy love, and sex ed classes (where the girls learn to wear panties, because their black patent leather shoes reflect up, and the boys learn to control their urges.) We can also watch them grow from kids to mature young people. They learn many life lessons along the way through humorous songs and witty dialogue. Thi ...more
Claire Cavoto
Dec 28, 2015 Claire Cavoto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my shelf for quite a while. I enjoyed it very much and it brought back memories of going to Catholic high school in the 60's.
Kerry Zukus
Mar 15, 2014 Kerry Zukus rated it it was amazing
Powers' second book in his trilogy, this coming of age tale is full of humor and warmth. A very enjoyable read.
Suzy Prybell
Apr 19, 2008 Suzy Prybell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a book that's highly amusing
Recommended to Suzy by: Allan
I would actually give this book 4.5 stars. The beginning reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye and the same style of writing that JD Salinger used for Holden Caulfield. It's written as this boy Eddie, goes from Freshman to Senior year in highschool. I've read books that people say makes them laugh out loud, and although I've found them amusing, I've never really laughed out loud at them. This one I did laugh out loud. I enjoyed the writing style and being in the head of a 13 year old boy is rath ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Jodi rated it really liked it
A high-school classic! My dad recommended it, and it really resonated for him, as one who attended Catholic school in the 1950s and 1960s. I was not raised Catholic and read it in the 1980s but it was still a wonderful book to me.
Jan 17, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it
Growing up Catholic on the Southside of Chicago! What's not to love?
Sep 29, 2007 Virginia rated it really liked it
I'm not Catholic, but I was raised by one, and married one. This book was an enjoyable look into Catholic childhoods in the '50s and '60s.

And it gave me some insight into my mother.
Feb 02, 2008 Tam rated it it was amazing
This book is the funniest book ever written. Especially if you understand the culture of growing up Catholic. If you have a used copy you'd sell me, I'd love to buy it from you!
Dec 22, 2009 Katerlio rated it it was ok
found it on the street, left it on the plane. funny parts, slight tinge of melancholic nostalgia, excellent descriptions of sock hops.
Sarah Wells
Jun 29, 2007 Sarah Wells rated it liked it
This and Powers' other Catholic school based book were quite entertaining and worth the garage sale purchase ;)
Dec 08, 2008 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Bobby gave me this book to read while in high school. It is funny. I need to go back and read it again.
Feb 25, 2008 Allan rated it really liked it
If you grew up Catholic in Chicago (like me), you would definitely relate to this book.
Jul 26, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and touching book about growing up Catholic.
Feb 14, 2010 Marc rated it liked it
Fair-to-middling. Does not live up to the hype.
Jan 05, 2008 amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Senior year at UMD - I played Virginia.
Nov 12, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing
Great book
Aug 02, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it
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