John Michael Cummings is an American short story writer and novelist and most of his work are for young adults. With two nominations to the Pushcart Prize, and appearances of his stories in many literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Project; his work is highly appreciated. One of his young adult novel, The Night I Freed John Brown has been known to be powerful and based on his own experiences on growing up.
Ugly To Start With is a collection of short stories, and ones he has asked me to review. And I truly can't wait to get started! Since semester exams are over, what better time to start! Here's the synopsis below:
Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.
Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town.
The story sounds so awesome! And I've always been interested in reading stories from a boy's point of view. If you wanna know more about John himself, just click away! And below are the links if you want to get your hands on Ugly To Start With and many of his other books, including The Night I Freed John Brown.