Tanker 10 is a timely and compelling story about a bullied, bashful and overweight boy named Jimmy. It is set in Brockton MA in 1976 where we meet Jimmy who is only interested in reading his books and toss the ball with his best friend Ben. Jimmy’s older brother Cliff and his buddies see him as their entertaining victim, but when Jimmy tries to stand up to his brother the verbal abuse turns physical, ending in Jimmy being taken to hospital with an injury that changes the direction of his life.
The book tells the story of Jimmy through his pre-teen and teenage years as he struggles with the physical and psychological injuries he carries following the accident at the hands of his brother. His salvation comes thanks to him finding his love for Baseball through which he dedicates himself to a strict regeime, which takes him from intramurals baseball to little league. Then by the time he reaches High school he’s no longer the fat kid throwing a ball against a wall but an up-and-coming right fielder on the freshman baseball team. Even though his recovery is successful Jimmy is still ill at ease with himself and longs for emotional and physical intimacy. He is also grappling with finding his place in his family, among his friends, and with his Brother Cliff.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Curelop, a lifelong baseball fan who was bullied as a child for being overweight, has written a poignant fictional account of a character in search of himself. His debut novel, Tanker 10, is a funny and heart-wrenching coming-of-age journey toward self-acceptance in the wake of trauma. Centered around baseball, the story deals with the serious ramifications of identity and acceptance.
STAR RATING: * * * * * *
“Tanker 10, is a funny and heart-wrenching coming-of-age journey toward self-acceptance in the wake of trauma. Centered around baseball, the story deals with the serious ramifications of identity and acceptance.”
Although I found it difficult to get into this book to begin with I have given it a 5 out of 5 star rating, because this was nothing to do with how it was written it was more to do with the fact that I had a lot going off in my family life, and I will recommend the book to others personally and via my blog.
I loved the main character Jimmy, the antagonist, as I really identified with him because I was bullied at school as a child and have always loved books and reading. His love for Baseball and his best friend Ben was enduring throughout the book. The love he had for his best friend Ben was particularly when he was killed in the accident and funeral because it was clear that he couldn’t bear to be without him.
Cliff, the protagonist, Jimmy’s older Brother was an interesting character because although he was a bully and in many ways the worst kind of bully, sibling bully you could also see some kind, gentle and loving side to him as well. You could see the better side to him more and more after the incident where he caused his brother injury which inevitably led to Jimmy being even more uncertain of him self than he already was.
Ben, Jimmy’s best friend was a kind, gentle person who wasn’t particularly academically minded person but loved Swimming and swam for a local swim team. You could see from things that happened on the story that he was a grate friend that supported him in every way he can.
It was interesting seeing how Jimmy developed through out the book especially from the accident involving his brother. It was particularly interesting how he went from a non sporty book worm to an avid sportsperson, baseball player, to the point of getting a base ball scholarship to go to college.
I absolutely loved this book and cant wait to read anymore books written by Jonathan.