BLOG TOUR: The Bridge by Stan Crader

by Stan Crader
Wheatmark, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58736-908-7
YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Grades 8 and up
Complimentary copy received in return for honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


Tommy Thompson recalls with vivid detail the summer of 1967, when he was twelve years old and living in a small town in rural America. At that time in his life, all he wanted was a Honda motorbike, and he believed the smartest person in the world was his Uncle Cletus. The Bridge follows Tommy’s summer-long quest for the Honda and his love, Wendy, whom he pursues with the comical romanticism of a young boy.
During the course of the summer Tommy helps his best friend, Booger, cope with family tragedy. He is terrorized by Clyde Goodpasture, the biggest bully in the sixth grade, and the town of Colby is shaken by news that its hat factory will close. While he isn’t a religious child, Tommy faces these challenges armed with the few Bible verses that he knows and the support of his Christian family. Tommy has a knack for doing the right thing and ultimately makes a sacrifice that shows without a doubt that his heart is in the right place.


 Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both and His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).


I love this kind of book, a great combination of history and story.  While the main characters are twelve-year-old boys, the book does seem to be aimed at adults.  But I think that young adults could really enjoy it as well.  The story follows the ordinary adventures of Tommy and his best friend, Booger (Randy), who are determined to earn the money to buy Honda Mini-Trails (mini motorcycles).  In order to do so, the set up a lawn mowing business.  But at the same time they deal with the same sorts of things that teenagers the world over deal with, bullies, girls, and the loss of a family member. I especially enjoyed the honest approach that Tommy takes, even though he has a tendency to speak first and think later, it's clear that he is a good kid, but a normal twelve-year-old boy (there are some gross jokes).  I think what I liked the best though was how well the author creates life in a small town in Missouri in the 1960s.  I felt like I was there. For me, historical fiction doesn't work if the setting and feel of the story aren't believable. This book does not have this problem. The book is full of humor, life, and genuineness. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy great historical fiction.

Check out the rest of the tour here.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for my review of the sequel, The Paperboy.


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