The Outside Boy

The Outside Boy

by Jeanine Cummins

Paperback

$13.50 $15.00 Save 10% Current price is $13.5, Original price is $15. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, September 20

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Outside Boy 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Christy feels like an outcast, he is constantly traveling with his family. He is told that his mother passed away when he was an infant. But when Christy's cousin is getting ready to set the wagon carrying his dead grandfather on fire, Christy spots a newspaper picture. This picture has him questioning everything he's believed in his whole life. Who is this woman and why does he feel such a strong connection to her? He sets out to find the truth about who he is and where he comes from. Will he come to peace with the life he lives or will everything this new information destroy him? Two words: loved it! I fell into this novel right away and didn't even come up for air.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christy is a young Pavee gypsy boy traveling with his family in Ireland when his grandfather dies. As a traveler who feels claustrophobic when he is indoors for any length of time, he is horrified to find out that his grandfather's body is going to be buried and his wagon and all his belongings lit on fire. And so Christy and his cousin concoct a plan to burn their grandfather's body in the wagon instead of consigning him to the tiny underground space of a coffin. The intended conflagration doesn't quite have the intended effect, both depriving his grandmother of the comfort of long-standing tradition and making the adults angry. And because they are angry, Christy decides that he will not show anyone the newspaper clipping that fluttered, still intact, out of the fire. The clipping shows his mother, an unknown man, and a baby. Meanwhile, Christy's father and aunt have determined that it is time for Christy and his cousin Martin to make their first communion and so they stay in one place far longer than they ever have before, giving Christy time to unravel the mystery of the mother who died in giving him birth.Cummins has drawn a beautiful and eloquent picture of gyspy life in Ireland and created a charming and insightful character in young Christy. Christy tells his own story in the vernacular but it is fairly easy to adapt to this non-traditional narrative voice. In searching for his mother, Christy is, in many ways, searching for himself and his place in the world. He both envies a settled life and he scorns it as unthinkable. He faces prejudice from the local townspeople, causing him to carefully evaluate the lifestyle in which he has been raised. He knows his father is a good man but what of the loose interpretation of morality as compared to the town folk? He finds good and caring people who value and accept him despite his gypsy heritage. And he finds the help he needs to unravel the threads of his personal history.Christy is on a quest and what he finds will shake many of his assumptions, shaping who he will become as he goes forward in life. This novel of exploration, mysteries long-buried and unacknowledged, and a way of life slowly dying out is an unexpected delight to read. Cummins has written an engaging and evocative coming of age novel about an unusual boy. Thoughtful and respectful, loaded full of gyspy tradition and reasoning, this story happily satisfies.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eleven year old Christy has lived his whole life on the road ¿ a ¿traveler¿ in Ireland ¿ along with his grandparents, father, aunt, uncle and cousins. Martin, the cousin closest to Christy in age, is his constant companion and friend. When Christy¿s grandda dies unexpectedly, the family decides to stop traveling for a time in order to facilitate getting Christy and Martin¿s Communion.Christy soon discovers that enrolling in school doesn¿t make him any more acceptable to the townspeople. In fact, living among them, he soon begins to question the flexible morality with which he has been brought up. For example, is stealing to fill an empty belly the same as stealing something one covets?When Christy discovers a worn out newspaper clipping of his mother (who he believes has died giving birth to him), the mystery of his past surfaces¿and Christy goes on a search to not only discover his true identity, but to determine whether or not his past will impact his future.The Outside Boy is a coming of age story dropped into the rich history of Ireland¿s gypsies during the mid-twentieth century. Christy is a typical boy in many ways, but his alienation and isolation from the larger world have worked together to make him question the life his family has led. Despite the love of his family, he carries with him the guilt of his mother¿s death and wonders if he has missed something essential in not having a stable home. Christy¿s search for his identity is the central theme in the book.Jeanine Cummins captures the life of a nomadic family perfectly, revealing not only their challenges but also their joys. Cummins seems to understand that financial well being does not always equate to happiness, and that love is deeper than material comfort. Christy¿s struggle to understand himself, his eagerness for acceptance among his peers, his encounter with first love ¿ all ring true.There is one part of the book which I did not like ¿ and I will admit it is my own subjective emotion. In the novel an animal dies ¿ actually an animal is killed ¿ and it upset me. I don¿t like when animals die in books. Although I will say that this scene was not gratuitous and it actually fit within the context of the story and supported one of the major themes (which is loss and recovery). Even still, if you are like me, you might want to have this warning up front.Despite this one complaint, I enjoyed my journey with Christy and his family. I think The Outside Boy is a bit of a crossover YA/Adult book. Teens will identify with Christy¿s search for himself and struggles with his peers; and adults will enjoy the history of Ireland¿s traveling people and the themes of love, loss and moving forward after tragedy. The novel also opens up questions regarding morality ¿ a wonderful jumping off point for discussions with teens about right and wrong, and religion.Cummins writes with authority and sensitivity ¿ she understands her characters emotions and flaws, and it shows in the writing. Christy is a character walking the fine line between wanting to be an adult, and longing to remain a child ¿ and Cummin¿s captures this beautifully, bringing to life a young boy who at times only wishes to be held in the arms of a mother he has never met. Poignant and heartfelt, this is a novel I can recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a well written book. It deals with an important event occuring today or a continuation of an event that has occured for a long time.
Lucy88 More than 1 year ago
If you can get past the fact that you won't believe character, plot, voice, dialogue, or thought, this is a terrific beach read. It's diverting, occasionally sweet, but seldom credible. Colonial literature -- and I'm English! -- at its worst. Sigh.