I’m reading Aurora Couny All-Stars to my boys and they are loving it. My two younger boys — 10 and 9 — sat down to listen from the beginning. The 10-year-old ran off with the book after about the third session. He wasn’t able to wait for the next read-aloud. He didn’t devour it in one gulp, but has kept a steady pace about five chapters ahead of us. When something worrying happens during the read-aloud, he’ll give his brother an encouraging word or look. As I am winding up each chapter, I come to another of Deborah Wiles’ great hooks. I always have a child with an imploring look and a ‘one more chapter?’ request. The boys giggle at the over-the-top Finesse and cackle when House asserts himself (or swallows his toad). Their eyes got big when House explored Baby-Eater Boyd’s place after dark. Having “the Mamas” sign their boys up for an anniversary pagaent sponsored by a home-town soap opera star and having it scheduled for the exact same time as the annual ‘not-quite-Little League’ baseball game is a perfect conflict. There are many true moments in this tale for those of us who grew up in small Mississippi towns, but the concerns of the kids are universal. Grab this one and read it to kids — even if you have to borrow some.