Agnes Dee for The GenReview:
Summer And Shiner, by Dr. Nolan Carlson tells the story of a boy, 12-year-old Carley, his best friend, Troop, and the raccoon Carley adopts as a pet. Almost every chapter is a story to itself, tied together by the boysĎsummer vacation in the late 1940ís Randall, Kansas.
Itís an idyllic small town life: no crimes are committed, and even the worst people have a good side. However, this book is not sugar-coated. The boys get themselves into some genuinely dangerous situations. At one point, Troop tells of his time spent living on the reservation, and itís a bit sobering.
The middle-grade child who reads this book will get a good picture of what life was like during the 40ís, living in a small town, while the adult will enjoy the authorís descriptive prose. Iíd recommend this to any parent or teacher looking for a wholesome, yet interesting, book.