Reviews from Library Journal ("remarkably honest") and Booklist ("heartfelt")

[Thanks to Derek Sanderson for this fun review in Library Journal]:

Author Thompson (A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” RipleyDriving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR) pens an excellent memoir about the growing pains of fatherhood and adolescence. Encouraged from an early age to learn to skateboard and to find their own way through life, the author’s two sons enter their teenage years with a rebellious fury, smoking pot, drinking, staying out to all hours, and barely giving school a passing thought. Thompson does not take all of this very well, even though he behaved no differently in his youth. He is beset by worry about his kids and given to frequent and unintentionally humorous rants. But upon reflection, he comes to realize that in spite of it all his sons are good people with core values and a real sense of direction and purpose. VERDICT Thompson’s remarkably honest account of fatherhood presents a scary, funny, and reflective read all at once.


[And thanks to Bridget Thoreson for this review in Booklist]:

As Thompson watched his older son take the plunge on his skateboard into the skate park, he was witnessing the beginning of a new era for his family: the skater years. From their preteen flirtations with the skater lifestyle to their more challenging teen years facing issues like drugs, trespassing, and academic struggles, Thompson chronicles his two boys’ wholehearted entry into skateboarding and his insights on his own teenage exploits and role as a father in this winsome memoir. Thompson does his best to understand and encourage his sons in their passion, devouring their YouTube videos and even coordinating a 19-state skateboarding tour across the country. But as the boys push the boundaries further, making urban Seattle into their skateboarding playground and fighting against any displays of authority, the fissures in their family dynamics widen into deeper threats. From the obstacles unique to skaters, like the mountains of shoes they discard seemingly within moments of their purchase, to the more universal trials faced by teenagers and their parents, Thompson displays both pointed humor and heartfelt reflection. 

Neal ThompsonComment