You really have to ignore the cover on this one. The melancholy boy gives the impression that the book is about overcoming some kind of childhood trauma or abuse, but it's not. This is a memoir of a 1930-40's childhood. You know, snowballs, appendicitis, chewing gum, visiting the dentist, porridge for breakfast, that kind of thing. Nothing angsty at all.
In fact, I'm a little confused as to who the projected audience is. Again, the cover looks like its for an adult audience but when you open it up and see the font size (it's quite large) and the pencil sketches at the beginning of each chapter, as well as the simple sentence structure it feels more like a book for 10-14 year olds.
Anyway, if you are in the 10-14 age range I think you would enjoy this, especially since things have changed so much for youngsters these days. Reading this book is kind of like having your grandpa (or great- grandpa) sit down with you and talk about the good ol days "when I was a boy..."
However, there is one thing I would like to lay on the table; it may or may not affect your decision to let your child read this. There is one hospital scene where Jackie is getting a bed bath by a nurse and it appears that both he and the nurse are enjoying it too much. It borders on inappropriate and personally I would feel a little uncomfortable giving this to a young boy to read.
Overall, a pleasant memoir.
*I received a free copy through the author in exchange for my honest opinion.