An eventful summer for two pre-teen boys in an uneventful small Texas town begins when Zachary Beaver, billed as the World's Fattest Boy, trundles into town in a trailer as a one-person freak show. After some initial reluctance on both sides, the boys all become friends as they face various trials and tribulations.
Kimberly Willis Holt's When Zachary Beaver Came To Town is a credible, nicely-done coming of age story, full of interesting characters and a good sense of its time and place (early 70s Texas). I thought the rich backstory added quite a bit of food for thought for young readers, especially the fates of the siblings and parents of various characters, and the inner lives of some of the small town's residents.
I really had no expectations for this novel, picking it up solely because I decided to read along with my college daughter's Young Adult Lit class this summer. However, I quickly got drawn into the world depicted and enjoyed the novel quite a bit.
I nabbed this off of www.paperbackswap.com and read it at a good clip.