KICKFLIP BOYS IS...

...the story of a father’s struggle to understand his willful skateboarder sons, challengers of authority and convention, to accept his role as a vulnerable “skate dad,” and to confront his fears that their out-of-bounds lifestyle will lead them too far afield. With searing honesty, Neal traces his sons’ progression through all the stages of skateboarding: splurging on skate shoes and boards, skipping classes and defying teachers, run-ins with security guards and cops, painting graffiti, drinking and smoking, and more. As the story veers from skateparks to the streets, from funny to treacherous and back, Neal must confront his complicity and fallibility. He also reflects on his upbringing in rural New Jersey, and his own adventures with skateboards, drugs, danger, and defiance. A story of thrill-seeking teens, of hope and love, freedom and failure, Kickflip Boys reveals a sport and a community that have become a refuge for boys who resist mainstream expectations as they seek their own path. Ultimately, it’s a deeply moving survival story of a loving modern American family, of acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go.

With a dispassionate but tender eye, Thompson captures the ache, fizz, yearning and frustration of being the father of adolescent boys—and of adolescence itself, observed and remembered.
— Michael Chabon
Heartfelt and blunt … skillfully describes the many trials of parenthood. This memoir will provide humor and comfort for parents figuring out their kids—and themselves.
— Publishers Weekly
Neal Thompson’s Kickflip Boys is a lovely, irresistible aria on the difficult, hard-won, tragic truth that there are no thrills without catastrophes.
— David Shields
With searing and often hilarious honesty, it is a story of love and doubt, of fear for the future and coming to terms with the present.
— Brigid Schulte