“Love, Loss and Life Lessons In The Deep South”
Special to the Banner
As the 20th century unfolds, it’s the 1940s and the rising events of World War II leave a lasting impression on even the youngest of Americans. In the Deep South, the Jim Crow laws, enacted after the Civil War, create a system of apartheid designed to keep “colored people” (African-Americans) in their proper place. The war is a tumultuous era for our country, as times of palpable change often are. This is the fascinating and dramatic backdrop of the new novel “Little Joe” By Michael E. Glasscock III M.D.
Seamlessly blending American history with the tale of one young boy’s plight, “Little Joe” provides a glimpse into growing up during a time of two wars — one occurring outside of, and the other within, our country.
Little Joe is just 9 years old when he is the sole survivor of an automobile accident that kills his mother and father. Orphaned, he goes to live with his maternal grandparents, who live on a farm near the small Tennessee community of Round Rock. As he tries to cope with the loss of his parents, his old home in Texas and his old friends, Little Joe struggles to adapt to his new life — which at first just seems like a drafty house, greasy food and stodgy grandparents.
As his grandparents teach him about standing up to bullies, the war, Jim Crow laws and what forgiveness means, Little Joe begins to settle into his new life. He finds two pals to join him on adventures — Sugar and Bobby, whose friendship lightens his spirits — and a small puppy named Napoleon who also proves to be a faithful friend.
As the events of the times unfold through the radio speaker in his grandmother’s kitchen, Little Joe will learn that just when you think all is lost, love and friendship can bloom in the most unlikely of places.
Follow Little Joe on his adventure of loss, love, and friendship as the 20th century unfolds. Interestingly, many of the struggles faced then are still faced today. Intolerance, racism, war and bullying are just some of the themes Glasscock addresses in this adventurous, historical novel. He also explores the powerful influence family can have on our values, as well as the truth that love and friendship can bloom in the most unlikely of places.
“I was raised by my own grandparents and spent my childhood in the segregated South, and in many ways I think our upbringing shapes us,” Glasscock says. “Just as Little Joe experienced, struggles with war, racism and bullying are still very much alive in today’s society. But, so are the tools to overcome them.” In his riveting work of historical fiction, Glasscock touches upon themes such as:
— A world war can, even at a vast distance, have a frightening effect on children.
— The loss of both parents suddenly at a young age can be emotionally life changing.
— Childhood friendships have the power to overcome the anxiety of adjusting to a new life in an unfamiliar setting.
— The profound and positive influence that grandparents can have on their grandchildren can’t be underestimated.
— Every young person must eventually learn how to deal with a bully.
Glasscock spent most of his career in Nashville in private practice at the Otology Group, which he founded.
While there, he was also a clinical professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The author ran an otology/neurotology fellowship program from 1975-1997, training 50 otologists. His fellowship program and practice are now part of Vanderbilt.
He founded the American Journal of Otology and the Ear Foundation, located in Nashville.
He has published more than 260 peer-reviewed papers in the otolaryngology literature and was the editor for six editions of Surgery of the Ear.
He is currently an adjunct professor of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, practices at the Glasscock Hearing Implant Center in Houston, and is a consultant to three medical device companies. In addition to his medical career, he is author of the “Round Rock” series, with “Little Joe” being the first book in the series.
The 243-page book is published by Greenleaf Book Group Press. “Little Joe” is available from www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and through major and independent booksellers.
For information about “Little Joe,” visit www.michaelglasscockiii.com; www.facebook.com/author.mich aeleglasscockiii; www.twitter.com/mglasscock3; or youtube.com/user/michaeleglasscockiii.