Gregory Kennedy's Reviews > Jacky the Brave

Jacky the Brave by Jim Sellers
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it was amazing
bookshelves: currently-reading

People love to poke fun at bagpipes with their ear-rending, skirling sounds that can deafen a polecat — but all joking aside — there’s something about tradition, lore and legend that’s powerful, almost magical, upon which people can draw in times of crisis and need.

Jacky The Brave ultimately taps into this time-tested Scottish enchantment with the tale of a middle-school boy who’s good at everything from basketball to video games, but who finds himself totally unprepared and at wit’s end when his mother takes ill. It’s a gut punch that he and his Dad may never recover from, as well.

As his father drifts away from him emotionally, Jacky searches for a means to reconnect with him — and makes the (gasp!) shocking realization that his Dad, too, was once just a kid like him. And what did this kid who eventually became Dad do? What was he passionate about? Well, it seems he had this thing for bagpipes back in the day — judging from the photo in the old family scrapbook.

With this revelation, Jacky The Brave fires up the story octane and is away to the races, as Jacky takes up the “uncool” bagpipes, determined to be great at something that will not only impress his Dad, but touch something deeper in the old man and restore his place in his father’s tattered heart.

But don’t expect all heavy and grim here. If it’s laughs you’re after, Jacky has an arpeggio of those, as well as an honest embrace of life’s toughest moments from a boy’s-eye view. It appears the author, Jim Sellers, knows his way around the chambers of a boy’s heart, and pumps out a damn fine story that not just youth, but all ages, can enjoy — kilt or no kilt.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 15, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 22, 2014 – Shelved

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