More than anything, eight-year-old Jesse Hall wants his divorced parents to reconcile. Despite witnessing the pain his dad inflicts when he is drunk, Jesse knows it’s the alcohol, not his dad. “If I write him, I might make him stop drinking and gambling, then we can all be together.”
Despite Jesse’s fervent prayers, his dad misses child support payments, keeps gambling, and remains an alcoholic. To make ends meet Jesse delivers papers, collects deposit money on abandoned pop bottles, and inspects change slots of vending machines while his mom sews and cleans for people in the town.
As Jesse continues to pray and plead for his dad’s return, there are people in the town who have other plans for him: a pair of school bullies and a local preacher who tries to move Jesse to foster care by reporting his mom as unfit to a well-meaning social worker. It’s the 1950’s.
How can Jesse and his penniless mother keep their family from being torn further apart? How do they survive their poverty? Will the town turn on them or save them? Watch how Jesse’s girlfriend, the deputy Sheriff, a five-and-dime clerk, and a mummified corpse help Jesse face his dilemma.
Jesse Sings is the first book of the three book series, Searching for Family, a coming-of-age novel about a son trying to save his father.
If you like books like Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, you will love this Best Book Award 2018 Finalist by Victor Hess.
Search for Family
It’s 1955 in small-town Ohio, where kids play Cowboys and Indians, ash trays sit on every kitchen table, and ten-year-old Jesse Hall dreams of buying a Schwinn Corvette bicycle. Only problem is, he uses his hard-earned money to help his mom. His days are spent delivering the newspaper and babysitting his baby sister, making her fried bologna sandwiches while his mom hems trousers for income. The struggling family is rescued by a marriage of convenience, but for how long?
At his new home his life takes an unexpected turn when at Little League practice his grip falters on the bat and his life is completely changed. From the hospital storyteller, he learns about the legend of the Shawnee Indian treasure buried at the edge of his new town. He has plenty of time for it to consume his hopes and the chase begins.
Is it gold? Silver? Or just a pile of Indian relics. Discover with Jesse, this unexpected treasure in the second book of the Searching for Family Series.
For over four years, Jesse’s father’s addiction to alcohol and gambling deprives Jesse and his mom of basic necessities, overwhelming twelve-year-old Jesse Hall. He feels a need to help his family, but it causes him to neglect school so much that he is in danger of repeating the sixth grade. Jesse forges his mom’s name on his grade card and makes other bad choices. He thinks a lie will cover up his misdeed and is sure his sin is redeemable.
Jesse blames all his problems on his father’s drinking and gambling and yearns for him to reform. Then, at the County Fair Jesse sees the worst in his dad and learns more about his past.
The church finds a new pastor and his wife who offer Jesse a path to his own redemption. At the same time, Jesse’s two-and-a-half-year-old sister is suspected of being a source of healing and is sought after by church members who are suffering. “Only God and medicine can heal,” says the family doctor.
Can a newly formed AA group turn Jesse’s dad around? Can a Confirmation retreat unbridle amazing talents of Jesse and his five close friends? How can a visit to a corpse on display in a nearby town right a wrong done to one of Jesse’s friends? Does Jesse’s dad get the help he needs? Does Jesse’s sister truly have the power to heal people?
Jesse’s Dream is the third and final book in Victor Hess’ Searching for Family series and is the launching pad for the Wesley Club Adventures series soon to be released.
If you like Summer by the Woods by Steven K. Smith or Secret Lake by Karen Ingles, and the Red Rock Mystery series by Jerry B. Jenkins, you will like Jesse’s Dream.