The Doo Dads are singing "My Girl" on the radio and fourteen-year-old Gary is studying pictures of naked women, aware that Grandpa is looking down from heaven wondering how the boy turned out so badly. He has never so much as kissed a girl, except ...
his rebellious cousin Kate, a sophisticate of seventeen who knows about The New Yorker and also how to swear and exhale smoke rings. But this is a summer of change for Gary: he fights back against his bullying born-again sister and his tyrannical teacher, and most significantly, he receives an Underwood typewriter-a typewriter that will help Gary believe he can become a writer. With his trademark gift for treading "a line delicate as a cobweb between satire and sentiment" (The Cleveland Plain Dealer), Keillor's touching and funny novel brilliantly captures a newly minted America and delivers an unforgettable comedy about the universal aspects of adolescence-from first loves to fear and fascination with bodily functions.