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The 79 Squares

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  12 reviews
To the bafflement of his parents, gang, and probation officer, visiting an ostracized, cantankerous old man and his garden becomes very important to 14-year-old Eric.
Published (first published 1979)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Aspen G.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eric the main boy is turning into a bad boy.he's hanging out with bad kids the and is doing doing bad bad . I like that Eric is hanging out with the old man because its changed him.I also like the old man how he does not tell Eric what they are doing when he comes to visit.He just does whatever Mister beck (the old man)tells him maybe because its Mysterious ,and he wants to know.I would recommend this book to someone who takes time reading there books and it takes a while to understand it. I'm ...more
Jasmine S.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The story is about a boy named Eric who gets in a lot of trouble with his gang friends and in this book he is also on parol.But when Eric meets an old man in a garden named Mr.Beck, Maybe it will be a good thing for him.Eric never lies to Mr.Beck if something is on his mind he can tell Mr.Beck.But Eric still hangs out with his gang friends which do some pretty bad stuff.And the author really explains how the characters felt toward the other characters.One thing that I dislike about how the ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a boy that's hanging around with a gang, doing some bad stuff, such as getting drunk at the swimming pool. He needs to see his probation officer, because he is on probation for throwing stones at the windows of his school.

All around, not pretty stuff. Then one day he meets mister Beck. While nobody wants Solo to hang with this old man (82), Eric doesn't care. Beck is his friend, his only friend, and he won't let him go. This is a story about friendship, patience and seeing
Jan Hibbert
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual and interesting tale

I enjoyed this story about an unlikely friendship but would have enjoyed it more without all the many typos which spoiled what could have been a quality read
Sarah Rigg
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I enjoyed it" is all I wrote about this book when I read it in 1985.
Caz Johnson
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: really-liked
Read in between the lines for lessons on mindfulness :)
Eileen Irons
Interesting story, but it was riddled with typographical errors! Where was the proofreading?
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remembered this novel from the time that my 4th-6th grade teacher selected it as a read aloud and let my friend and I take turns reading it to our classmates. We must not have finished it, because when I read it as an adult, I found content that I did not remember and that I would only recommend for 7th grade and up. However, the book communicates valuable themes about making cross-generational friendships, not judging a person by his past, and of connecting with nature. While this author ...more
Elizabeth Gibbs
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star
This book was captivating. I had a hard time putting it down! Eric is a young teenager who has been getting into trouble with his friends and is on probation with the police dept. While trespassing in a backyard he meets Mr. Beck, an old man who quickly becomes important in Eric's life. Mr. Beck teaches Eric how to see the world, but their friendship is threatened when the town starts to find out about Mr. Beck's past.
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I book with two rich characters, an elderly regretful murder convict out on parole to die, and a young delinquent in need of guidance. To get his point across, the old man dares the boy study the garden, and thus establishes a commitment that the boy can care about.
Nov 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Young adult coming of age focusing on the relationship between a 14-year-old boy in trouble and an ex-con.
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Malcolm Joseph Bosse (1926–2002) was an American author of both young adult and adult novels. His novels are often set in Asia, and have been praised for their cultural and historical information relating to the character's adventures. Bosse mostly wrote historical fiction novels after the publication of The Warlord, which became a best-seller.

Bosse was born in Detroit, Michigan and died in New
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