Book Review: Where’s My Wand?

July 7, 2010 book review 8

Where’s My Wand? One Boy’s Magical Triumph over Alienation and Shag Carpeting
by Eric Poole, published May 2010, read June 2010
First things first, I was alerted to this book’s existence on facebook, by a former high school classmate.  Sally posted about this book, written by yet another high school classmate of ours(yay for the Class of 78).  Honestly I knew Eric’s name, and I remembered him as tall, thin and in the band, and I didn’t know much else.  It’s likely I was just as forgettable 32 years later, I was short, average, not part of any particular group and just one of over 700 in our graduating class.  
What I did discover about Eric in this memoir is so much better than that faint image of a young man.  Eric Poole was a quiet reserved boy, picked on, bullied and yet amid all that he found a place and a rich fantasy life that helped him to manage those bullies and a mom with OCD before it was likely named.  Eric’s fascination with the TV show Bewitched and the outlandish mother in law, Endora, lead him to spend endless hours in his basement, conjuring up images of how his life should be, and hoping and praying that his “magic” would help him out.   Eric’s relationship with his mother was typical of those we had growing up, mom’s were not our friends to hang out with, they were to be feared at times, and obeyed.  His mom’s obsession with raking the carpeting and ironing the linens went beyond just good housekeeping. 
Eric discovered much more about himself over those many years growing up.  His memoir is written mostly about his pre-adolescent life, but takes us, the reader, up to his high school days, when things seem to come full circle for young Eric.  
I laughed and cried and reminisced about a place and time we’ve grown so far away from.  Our suburban St. Louis up bringing was very similar, though I missed most of the bullying, and sadly probably was one of those mean girls  from time to time(hanging much older head in shame).  The book took me back to my youth of no cell phones or video games, or i-pods, just 4 channels on the TV, and most of our homes only had one or two of those.  We had FM radio and we didn’t know better and we liked it.  
Eric is a writer with such a wonderful sense of humor and honesty it makes me want to share this book with everyone.   I know the people in Barnes & Noble and Chick-fil-a heard me laughing and sighing the last couple of days.  
I’ve rated this book a 5 out of 5, I loved it, it’s amazing.  Most of all, it makes me wish I had known Eric better in our days at Hazelwood Central High School……….I missed out on so much. 

8 Responses to “Book Review: Where’s My Wand?”

  1. MissKris

    I’m going to put this on hold at the library and read it. Oh, and you and my baby brother graduated the same year from high school! Have you ever read, “What Ever Happened to the Class of ’65?” by David Wallechinsky…or some such name…he’s the son of the writer Irving Wallace. Anyway, that was a WHOLE ‘nother world back then, but fascinating reading nonetheless. My oldest brother graduated that year, too.

  2. Beth

    Now…this one sounds like something I would enjoy! I remember not being a part of any one group…but following the lead and being mean! I will have to check it out!

  3. Al Kremer

    I’ve got a backlog of Border’s gift cards. I think I’m going to have to get this book. I remember Eric as well, Anita, as I do you. I doubt you were a mean girl, but sheesh, I was one who was picked on, too, so maybe I’ve just blocked it out.
    Nice review!

  4. Ali

    Sounds like a great book!

    Your review made me think: my boys are always wanting me to play with them and it seems that there are days when they’re incapable of creating their own fun. I’m searching for that middle ground between the hands-off moms we had growing up and the too involved hands-on moms of today.

  5. sheila

    Wow, I don’t read a whole lot, but this makes me WANT to read this one. How fun! And yes, 32 years does go by rather fast, lol.

  6. Anita

    You’ve given us a good review! Let us know about the success of the book if you happen to keep track of it and Eric.
    Best wishes to him!

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