Category Archives: Hyman, John H.

John H. Hyman. The Relationship. Manassas, VA: E.M. Press, 1995.

Scotland Neck, North Carolina, in 1944 is a typically charming Southern town. Everyone knows everyone, and people generally look out for one another. Johnnie, the nine year-old narrator, describes the many adventures he and his best friend Wormy encounter that summer. Although Johnnie is white and Wormy is black, the two boys do not allow the racial tensions of the segregated South to disturb their relationship. They daydream about concocting solutions that will make them invisible so that they can both take part in activities such as buying a Coke and a moon pie at the local grocery.

The two boys seem to have a penchant for mischief; examples include the time Johnnie’s father’s taxicab ended up at the bottom of Scout Pond and the day the boys hopped a train thinking it would take them to the next town but ended up in Norfolk, Virginia. As Johnnie grows up, he recognizes more often the discrimination Wormy endures, especially after Wormy is attacked for taking part in a whites-only activity. Although Johnnie acknowledges that Scotland Neck is not perfect, he appreciates the lessons he learns over the summer of 1944 before he and his newly-widowed mother move to northern Virginia. Most of all, he is grateful for his time there with Wormy.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1995, Coastal Plain, Halifax, Historical, Hyman, John H.