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The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler

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The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler

The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler

Boy Scout camp at Camp Chippewa, Wisconsin, in 1962 was a turning point in the life of a young bugler named Nelson. Nelson is a good boy, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, but it is the qualities that make him a good scout that set him apart from his fellow scouts. It is there that he makes a friend in Jonathan, his only friend, and one that he will have contact with throughout his life. It is also there that he finds his mentor, Scoutmaster Whitesides, who runs the camp and becomes a father figure for Nelson. 

This is the story of two good boys, Nelson and Jonathan’s son Trevor, who strive to always do the right thing, even when the right thing is the hard thing or the unpopular thing. But is the thing that is right always the right thing to do?

This book should be referenced whenever bildungsromans (coming of age stories) are discussed. This is the story of Nelson growing up and learning what it is to be a man and striving to be a good man despite all he faces during wartime. This is also a book about Trevor growing up and falling in love, reluctantly continuing the Camp Chippewa tradition.

Is it okay to sometimes do the wrong thing if your heart is in the right place? And what does it mean to be man? Why do some men seem to think that a “real” man can’t be both good and a man? But most importantly this book is about heroes and what it means to be a hero in another person’s eyes.

This is a good choice on audio but I will warn you, there is one part about a lost bet at Camp Chippewa that will have you cringing and rolling down the window in your car for fresh air if you’re listening while you drive.

By | 2017-05-03T19:44:59+00:00 April 28th, 2017|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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