“An engaging read from start to finish.” Janice H.
“My biggest takeaway was how [the author] made the reader really feel the story was coming from a 14-year-old boy.” John M.
“I related most to Alex’s character….in those same years in my life, I experienced events and moments that brought on the same emotions…young love, defiance, resentment and ultimately, a level of understanding.” Bob T.
“I quickly got invested in Alex’s character and his life circumstances, and I was anxious to keep turning the pages to see what happened next. Apart from the story itself, it was neat to read the familiar local names and places from that era. Really well written and very readable.” Colleen W.
“I can relate to so many of Alex’s thoughts as he plays his backyard, make-believe [football] games and pickup matches with Matt and his buddies.” Rich F.
“I had such sympathy for the mother—and, of course, [Alex’s] dad is the dad every teenager deserves.” Hazel Y.
“I felt so much nostalgia reading your story. I felt transported in time!” Jan S.
“I felt melancholy…wondering what would happen to the characters.” Gail H.
“It’s such pleasure to read a story set in our city—and in a time that holds such nostalgia for many.” Linda H.
“I really enjoyed the book because I found myself being able to relate to someone my age, yet in a different time. I think a lot of teens would enjoy this style of book, because it highlights some simplicity of the past we don’t have today and is still very relevant in what we go through at school.” Campbell L.
Alex in ’63 is my first novel, and I am enjoying putting it in the hands of readers who have “ever been thirteen”. It is very much a Calgary-based story, so many people will recognize familiar landscapes and events in Alex’s world: The North Hill, Mewata Stadium, McMahon Stadium, Georges P. Vanier Junior High, Crescent Heights High School, and the surrounding communities.
If you are interested in ordering a copy ($23, soft-cover), please send an email or phone me. Free delivery in Calgary.
Alex Wheeler reminds us what it’s like to be a teenager on a collision course with self-doubt, intimidation, love, and mystery. At the start of grade 9—in his hometown Calgary, Alberta—Alex is trying to figure out how to deal with a football-star brother, a strict school principal, and a vindictive high school girl. There’s another girl, too, recently arrived from England, who emboldens him by sharing glimpses of a pop culture revolution evolving back home. Meanwhile, local incidents and international events impact Alex and his family in deeply personal ways.
Alex in ‘63 is a bumpy-road tribute to home and school and neighbourhood.
Feeling hard-done-by after my chat with Loretta, I turned on the TV and sprawled on the couch. Instead of the usual afternoon movie, there was a special broadcast from Washington D.C. A huge crowd was standing in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln.
I didn’t usually take notice of politics or news except when the Current Events magazines arrived at school, and our social studies teacher made us read articles and answer questions. Although, I have to say, last year the Cuban Missile Crisis grabbed everybody’s attention. We watched President Kennedy on TV when he told the Russians they had to dismantle their missile bases or else. No one was sure what was going to happen, except my schoolmate Kenny Street, who told us we didn’t need to do homework anymore. We were all gonna be dead in a few days.
The event I was watching now had to do with black people demonstrating for jobs and equal rights in America—their own country. I knew slavery ended a hundred years earlier, but what I couldn’t understand was why it was taking so long for them to be treated like regular people.
“Hey, Mr. Oliver.” He stopped, peered from light into half light. Vague recognition set in. Then silence; neither of us wanting to explain. “Nice flood,” I finally said. “Thanks. It set up quick tonight.” He stood still, stickhandled in place. Soft hands, deft touch. “Goodnight Mr. Oliver.” “See ya, kid.”