Sean Stevens is an average teenage boy from Ohio. His grades aren’t spectacular. He isn’t as athletic as his brother Danny, yet he has exceptional knowledge of most cars on the market; he might as well be a car encyclopedia. As a young man on the verge of adulthood, author Scott Jameson Sanders pens a tale of the transition period of teenagehood towards maturity in “Driving Through Shaker Heights.”
The story starts with Sean navigating his last year in high school before entering college. Like most guys his age, he’d hope that getting into college will offer the key to him figuring out what he wants. Slowly, our protagonist manages to put together the pieces of what he wants in life which may or may not include a certain girl named Deborah. Despite Sean’s nonchalant approach toward life, he’ll soon find that our choices may not be as easy as they seem.
The author does a fantastic job portraying what goes on in the mind of a teenage boy.
Regardless of the period being in the 70s, he manages to make Sean’s experiences and thoughts relatable yet humorous—making it a great story for people who have already lived through that time and today’s younger generation.
Sean may consider himself “average,” but I find him anything but as a reader. His insights and creativity make him a great narrator, while his mishaps and awkward moments make one feel right at ease. He isn’t charming in a conventional way, nor as morose or depressing as most teenage boy protagonists. Still, he manages to make any observation compelling, regardless of how ordinary it may seem.
With these in mind, you should consider getting a copy of the book for your pleasure. Much like a teen behind the wheel for the first time, you’ll find this read a wild and unforgettable ride.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023
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