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Wishes that would impact the world are off limits i. It reaffirms the goodness in our world. When I was growing up in the Ohio River Valley in the late fifties and sixties, it was still a place of first-generation immigrants, primarily from Eastern Europe, two of whom were my great grandfathers. But this book truly touched me as a teacher and as a reader. I loved this book that was set in our area of the country, mid Ohio.

There are always consequences. Jan 15, Linda Rhyne rated it it was amazing. Already have an account? He becomes a good football player and the coach and his English teacher take a serious interest in the young man Jimmy Lee has the ability to become. What a good read.

I might have to bite on this one. Despite all of this, Jimmy finds a way out via brains, physical strength and the goodwill of a special teacher. This life, Jimmy Lee believes, is his destiny, someday working with his drunkard father at the sawmill, or sitting next to his arsonist brother in the penitentiary.

Jan 15, Linda Rhyne rated it it was amazing.


A must read in my opinion. Yocum is a great story teller. Search this Guide Search. During every encounter, Bh was always gracious and humble.

The Essay by Robin Yocum

I visualized every scene from the Brilliant of my youth. Midwest Book Review highly recommends it.

There are a few gut-wrenching twists too. Some of the characters will surprise you in good ways, others in bad ways. Did any of them help you with your subsequent writing career?


the essay by robin yocum discussion questions

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. I literally couldn’t put it down.

If not for an inspiring coach and Jimmy Lee’s ability ycoum play football, he would not have returned for his junior year in high school. There aren’t many options if your last name is Hickam. Yet Robin Yocum’s skill at creating complex characters and setting them loose to flounder their way through his world lifts this narrative into something more than a tale about a small-town scruff making good. Because Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes.

The Kaminskis are not a real family, but I use my family and the people I knew growing up for inspiration. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Jimmy’s resigned feelings of helplessness because of his family history when he encounters others is poignant and painful. Dec 23, Jan rated it it was amazing.

the essay by robin yocum discussion questions

This is the story of Jimmy Lee Hickam, a high school senior from the poverty-ridden Ohio Appalachian country where poor means poor the likes of which many of us cannot even comprehend and all the wretchedness that poverty like that produces. It was selected for the Choose to Read Ohio program for and was a featured book of the Ohioana Book Festival. Apr 24, Michele rated it it was amazing Shelves: Yocum creates well developed characters that the reader cares about. If you could make one wish that was guaranteed to come true–what would you wish for?


By Charlie Cochrane One of the pleasures in doing interviews for The Big Thrill is getting the chance to meet new and interesting people, even if that meeting is over the net rather than face to face.

He also is the author of Dead Before Deadline, a compilation of stories from his days as a crime beat reporter with the Columbus Dispatch, and Insured for Murder, which he co-authored with Dispatch colleague Catherine Candisky. Terrific characterizations, surprising revelations, gut-wrenching past betrayals, and an unforgettable cast of characters born of the dusty, worn-out landscape of southeastern Ohio make The Essay a powerful, evocative, and incredibly moving novel. Still, anyone from the area who reads the book will recognize the town as Brilliant.

The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Am I dreaming that? For example, early in the book a funeral takes place at the Church of Christ. I will be recommending this to both of my book clubs.

Vivid and heart-wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.