Item description for Chance Murphy and the Battle of Morganville by Josh P. McClary...
Chance Murphy, a 13-year-old living in Morganville, Indiana during the mid 1980s, is full of contradictions. He wants to be a man, but he has the needs of a child; he loves his mentally handicapped sister, but he also resents her and wishes she weren't such an easy target for the other kids;he is witty, but he embarrasses easily, especially when it comes to dealing with his emerging sexual feelings. Though Chance has a big heart, he has a dark side that surfaces in dreams of nuclear obliteration and manifests into paranoia and an "enemies list"---at the top of which ishis archenemy, Otto Manheim, the neighborhood kid. While the tension between the two creates many comical moments, the conflict escalates and finally reaches a boiling point at the bloody battle of Morganville.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Chance Murphy and the Battle of Morganville?
Coming-of-Age Story for those of us Raised in the 80's! Sep 3, 2007
In the summer of 1986, Chance Murphy was living in Morganville, Indiana with his mother and his mentally handicapped older sister, Sabby. His parents are divorced and his father lives with his old Vietnam buddy, Pete, in an apartment over The Murphy. The Murphy is the local movie theater, and Chance and his sister went weekly to spend time with their father, but also to partake of "Monday Movie Madness", a tradition in the town of Morganville.
Chance is not your average 13-year-old. He has dreams of grandeur. His grandfather died during WWII while fighting the Germans. He wanted to be soldier too, but an accident when he was little involving his best friend Dan and a BB gun put an end to that dream quickly. He has the normal problems that any kid has at that age, and yet they always seem bigger to Chance. He lives across the street from his mortal enemy Otto Manheim (the dirty "Hun"). His best friend Dan lives next door with his perfect (at least to the outside world) family. When Dan gets home cooked breakfast consisting of eggs and whole hog sausage, Chance is forced to endure bran flakes and a mom that works all the time. And his sister Sabby is sweet and he loves her, but sometimes it's hard dealing with her handicap.
I really enjoyed this book. It's hard not to like Chance and feel sorry for him, although he has a lot of anger issues. In fact, he has a lot of issues period. He's got a mouth on him that needs a good bar of soap, and a temper that is hard for him to control. But through it all, Chance has a good heart. He really WANTS to be a better person, he just can't quite get there. But I think that's what being a 13-year-old is all about. Trying to become the person you will eventually grow up to be. And Chance has a lot of growing to do.
One of the best things about this book is all the pop culture references. When Chance is DYING to have Laser tag under the Christmas tree that year, it brought me back in time to my brother wanting the same thing!! From Top Gun and The Breakfast Club to Coca-Cola Shirts and Guess? Jean jackets, I was definitely transported back to the my days in jr. high and high school! Isn't that really the fun of books?
Texas loves Chance Murphy! Jul 8, 2007
This book is flat out hilarious! The best book I've read in a long time. It took me back into the day, but is still a great story of everyday life. I recommend this book for anybody that wants to be entertained and is tired of reading the same 'ol, same 'ol.
A coming-of-age tale of a more-or-less ordinary teen Jun 10, 2007
Set in 1986 small-town Indiana, Chance Murphy and the Battle of Morganville is a novel about a thirteen-year-old boy who longs to be a man but hasn't quite finished growing up. Chance Murphy dreams of being a war hero, but has lost his eye in a BB gun skirmish and fears his wish can never come true. He loves yet simultaneously resents his handicapped sister, and has difficulty coming to terms with the understanding that she will need a brother all her life. At times his paranoia flares and he keeps an enemies list including his mother, and his tensions with neighbor kid Otto Manheim (an ancestral German and Chance's archenemy) threaten to unbalance the sometimes narrow catwalk of his daily life. Told in first person, Chance Murphy and the Battle of Morganville is a coming-of-age tale of a more-or-less ordinary teen coming to grips with the challenges of life itself.
Chance Murphy and the Battle of Morganville May 27, 2007
Chance Murphy sucks you into the 1980's like you never left it behind. This books tells of the struggle and worries of a 13 year old boy in a sometimes (most of the time) humorous way. You really pull for Chance although he is labeled the "troubled" kid, you know he has a good heart. His emotional struggle with all the people in his life makes you wonder how any of us came out the other side normal. This funny and very entertaining book is definitely worth the read. I look forward other works by Josh McClary.
An enjoyable read that takes you down memory lane May 4, 2007
For anyone who grew up in the 80s this book takes you back to your childhood with many references to popular culture of the time. As you turn the pages and learn about the battles Chance must fight you remember how the experiences and outcomes of the big events of childhood (teachers, parents, first dates, first kisses, school athletics, etc.) were the most important things in your life at the time. In hindsight they are just memories some fond and not so fond.
Even if you didn't grow up the 80s or want to relive your childhood the story is a great one complete with villians, heros, character flaws that make it hard to put down without starting the next chapter. I throughly recommend this for anyone who wants a page turning story to enjoy.