The summer of ’28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma’s belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.
The only god living in Green Town, Illinois, that Douglas Spaulding knew of.
The facts about John Huff, aged twelve, are simple and soon stated.
• He could pathfind more trails than any Choctaw or Cherokee since time began. • Could leap from the sky like a chimpanzee from a vine. • Could live underwater two minutes and slide fifty yards downstream. • Could hit baseballs into apple trees, knocking down harvests. • Could jump six-foot orchard walls. • Ran laughing. • Sat easy. • Was not a bully. • Was kind. • Knew the words to all the cowboy songs and would teach you if you asked. • Knew the names of all the wild flowers and when the moon would rise or set and when the tides came in or out.
He was, in fact, the only god living in the whole of Green Town, Illinois, during the twentieth century that Douglas Spaulding knew of.
Ray Bradbury (1920–2012) was America’s foremost writer of science fiction and fantasy. Among his most popular adult books were Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Death Is a Lonely Business. In addition, he wrote several books for children, including Switch on the Night…. More about Ray Bradbury