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Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood

Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood at Amazon.com

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ISBN: 0062394347 - Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood  
Title:Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood
Author:Neal Thompson
Type:Book / Hardcover
Publication Date:15 May, 2018
ISBN / ISBN-13:0062394347  /  9780062394347
List Price:$27.99
You Save:$9.70
Your Price:$18.29     Purchase

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Editorial Review / Publisher's Information:

Product Description

“Thompson captures the ache, fizz, yearning and frustration of being the father of adolescent boys.” —Michael Chabon

“What a riveting, touching, and painful read!” —Maria Semple

“Fun, moving, raw, and relatable.” —Tony Hawk

What makes a good father, and what makes one a failure? Does less-is-more parenting inspire independence and strength, or does it encourage defiance and  trouble? 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 the boys are destined for an unconventional and potentially fraught future.

With searing honesty, Neal Thompson traces his sons’ progression through all the stages of skateboarding: splurging on skate shoes and boards, having run-ins with security guards, skipping classes and defying teachers, painting graffiti, drinking and smoking, and more. As the story veers from funny to treacherous and back, from skateparks to the streets, Thompson 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 adolescent boys who don’t fit in. Ultimately, it’s the survival story of a loving modern American family, of acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go.

Amazon.com Review
By page twenty of Neal Thompson’s memoir, Kickflip Boys, my heart was thundering and my eyes welled with tears. I won’t give the anecdote away, except to use Thompson’s own observation: “…Something changed in me that day. Some innocent piece got gouged out…” Kickflip Boys is an uninhibited story of raising two sons who challenge, defy, refuse, and sometimes vandalize our societal structures. Sean and Leo are skateboard kids, who are bright, skip school to skate, sometimes do drugs, and love one another with a ferocity that is admirable. This memoir is a wild ride, filled with heartbreaking moments that drop into sunshine ones — “Later, I’d discover that not every park was as mellow as Food Lion Skatepark, not every skater a misunderstood angel.” As the boys age, spinning further into defiance, Neal and his wife, Mary, wonder about their complicity in their children’s behavior: did they give them too much freedom? Did they reward them for disobeying the rules? Does having your twelve-year-old mix you a Manhattan instill a predilection towards substance abuse? And it makes you wonder how you’d react if the ones you loved ignored your hopes and dreams, curfews and pleas. Throughout the highs and lows of parenthood, Thompson also recounts his own shenanigans as a teenager, falling in love with his wife and his own career as a writer. Love, anxiety, and the pursuit of freedom burn through every page of this rewarding memoir, which seems to say, the rules don’t always work, but devotion does. --Al Woodworth

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