More Reviews of Kid on the Go!
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Review by Beverly Baird, Canadian Writer, mother, and baby boomer: Click here
Review by a young mother, Glenda Cates:
It’s funny when books arrive because most of the time Charlie looks at the cover and says no, not another book to read. Which he doesn’t usually do its myself who reads the book. But this didn’t happen with Kid on the Go!: Memoir of My Childhood and Youth because the cover intrigued not only Charlie but his friend Bradley. Then they sat down to read the back cover and I could hear them discussing things they were reading. That evening after Bradley went home Charlie picked up the book again and carried it into his bedroom. I waited a few minutes and ventured in as I wanted to see what Charlie was doing with the book.
I honestly thought Charlie would take the book into his room and sat it on the Table and never open the book up. But that wasn’t the case Charlie was thumbing through the book looking at the illustrations. Then Charlie let me know the Author mentioned Bullying and Charlie wanted to see what was going to happen. Each night Charlie and I would sit down and he would read a chapter of the book to me. Then I would read a chapter to Charlie. Once we finished reading we would discuss what went on. I even felt closer to my dad who had done some of these things as a child. I was able to share parts of my dads childhood with Charlie. Allowing Charlie to get to know his grandfather just a little bit better.
Once we finished reading Kid on the Go!: Memoir of My Childhood and Youth Charlie shared the book and what happened with both Bradley and Charlie’s dad who know wants us to read the book with them. Which will bring us closer together and allow us to create new memories.
Through the book Charlie has even found new things he would like to try out including Fishing. Which David has been wanting to take Charlie to do. Charlie is know wanting to research the 40s. 50s and 60s to study in School opening up new doors for us.
Kid on the Go! is Neill McKee’s third work of creative nonfiction. It’s a standalone prequel to his award-winning Finding Myself in Borneo. In this new book, McKee takes readers on a journey through his childhood, adolescence, and teenage years from the mid-40s to the mid-60s, in the small, then industrially-polluted town of Elmira, Ontario, Canada-one of the centers of production for Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. McKee’s vivid descriptions, dialog, and self-drawn illustrations are a study of how a young boy learned to play and work, fish and hunt, avoid dangers, cope with death, deal with bullies, and to build or restore “escape” vehicles. You may laugh out loud as the author recalls his exploding hormones, attraction to girls, rebellion against authority, and survival of 1960s’ “rock & roll” culture-emerging on the other side as a youth leader. After leaving Elmira, McKee describes his intensely searching university years, trying to decide which career path to follow. Except for a revealing postscript, the story ends when he accepts a volunteer teaching position on the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia.
Glenda, Charlie and David Cates, Mommies Reviews
In Kid on the Go!, Neill McKee describes his growing up in Elmira, Ontario, and his life and education in Ontario and Alberta, from the late 1940s up to the time he departed to teach in Borneo, in 1968. He presents a vivid picture of his hometown as he experienced it, often indicating his later understanding, while including drawings from a child’s and youthful viewpoint, and many photographs. He gives us well-told accounts of the pollution in the town, but tells humorous stories about his family, his teachers, his adolescent misadventures, his encounters with the 1960s counterculture, and his developing intellectual interests. The book concludes with a moving postscript, “Closing the Circle,” where he describes Elmira as it is today, and speaks of the deaths of his parents. Kid on the Go! tells us what it was really like to grow up in Canada during that era.
- Bill Exley, retired English teacher, London, Ontario, Canada
In Kid on the Go!, memoirist Neill McKee takes us back to his childhood where he first discovers the strange features of his hometown of Elmira, Ontario, Canada. He shares his own views of the world with the eyes of a child and of the adult that he is now. Enriched with details, including clever artwork by McKee himself, along with family photographs, this memoir will take you on a journey through the author's past. Both funny and insightful, clever and thought-provoking, it's a book you don't want to miss.
- Nicole Pyles, writer, Portland, Oregon, USA worldofmyimagination.com