I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go, which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)
Neill McKee details his early life in Elmira, Ontario, from childhood through to his high school years. Then he focuses on his university years, first at Western in London and then at the University of Calgary in Alberta.
I have lived in Ontario most of my life and know the Kitchener-Waterloo fairly well. But McKee brought to life Elmira, which I have only been to a few times. He really makes us aware of the strong odors and the toxic stew in the rivers around the chemical factories there. I was not aware of that.
As each chapter presents the stories and memories from his past, I found myself chuckling often at some of his hijinks. As he said “We all experienced a childhood of freedom.”. There is no way parents of today would allow their children to wander as much as he did with his brother and friends. As a child in the 50s and 60s myself, I can remember exploring ponds and old barns around our house. Even my children had some freedom to explore around our rural home.
Throughout the book, we se his growth and his changing directions in his life, as he matured, met people, especially those from other countries, read and discusses politics, philosophy and even religion.
I recommend Neill’s memoir. It drew me in from the beginning and as a baby boomer, I could relate to much of his earlier years. A fun read indeed.
In this new book, McKee takes readers on a journey through his childhood, adolescence, and teenage years from the mid-40s to the mid-60s, in the small, then industrially-polluted town of Elmira, Ontario, Canada—one of the centers of production for Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
McKee’s vivid descriptions, dialog, and self-drawn illustrations are a study of how a young boy learned to play and work, fish and hunt, avoid dangers, cope with death, deal with bullies, and to build or restore “escape” vehicles. You may laugh out loud as the author recalls his exploding hormones, attraction to girls, rebellion against authority, and survival of 1960s’ “rock & roll” culture—emerging on the other side as a youth leader.
After leaving Elmira, McKee describes his intensely searching university years, trying to decide which career path to follow. Except for a revealing postscript, the story ends when he accepts a volunteer teaching position on the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia.
Purchase your copy now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Bookshop.org. Make sure to add it to your GoodReads reading list too.
About the Author
Neill McKee is a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has written and published three books in this genre since 2015. His latest work is Kid on the Go! Memoir of My Childhood and Youth, a humorous and poignant account of his growing up in an industrially-polluted town in Ontario, Canada, and his university years. This memoir is a stand-alone prequel to his first travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah (2019) on his first overseas adventures in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo), where he served as a Canadian volunteer teacher and program administrator during 1968-70 and 1973-74. This book won the 2019 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Biography–(other than a New Mexico/Arizona subject) and a Bronze Medal in the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards (Ippy Awards).
In late 2020, McKee also released Guns and Gods in my Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower—an entertaining account of how he searched for his roots in Canada and the US, in which he employs vivid descriptions, dialog, poetic prose, analytical opinion, photos and illustrations. In this work, McKee slowly uncovers his American grandmother’s lineage—ancestors who were involved in almost every major war on North American soil and others, including a passenger on the Mayflower, as well as heroes, villains, rascals, and ordinary godly folk. Through his search, McKee exposes myths and uncovers facts about the true founding of America.
McKee, who holds a B.A. Degree from the University of Calgary and a Masters in Communication from Florida State University, lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Russia and traveled to over 80 countries on assignments during his 45-year international career. He became an expert in communication and directed/produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, and wrote a many articles and books in the field. McKee is now busy writing another travel memoir on his career. He does readings/book signings and presentations with or without photos. He prefers lively interactive sessions.
Follow the author online at:
Author’s website: www.neillmckeeauthor.com
Kid on the Go! book page: www.neillmckeeauthor.com/kid-on-the-go
Kid on the go! buy page: www.neillmckeeauthor.com/buy-3
Author’s digital library: www.neillmckeevideos.com/
Be sure to visit all the stops along the way:
— Blog Tour Calendar
November 8th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Neill McKee’s newest memoir, Kid on the Go. Come by and read an interview with the author, find out more about his newest book, and enter to win a copy for yourself.
November 10th @ Quiet Fury Books
Visit Darcia’s blog today where she features an excerpt from Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 12th @ Choices
Visit Madeline’s blog and read Neill McKee’s guest post on surviving the 1960’s Rock n’ Roll culture.
November 15th @ Bring on Lemons
Visit Crystal’s blog today and read her insights into Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 15th @ Katherine Itacy’s Blog
Stop by Katherine and read her review of Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!. You can also enter to win a copy of the book for yourself too!
November 17th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Join Beverley as she features a guest post by author Neill McKee on issues on writing about your hometown.
November 20th @ Sweet Silly Sara
Visit Sara’s blog and read her review of Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 24th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Beverley’s blog again and read her review of Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 24th @ C. Lee McKenzie
Join C. Lee McKenzie today as she interviews author Neill McKee, author of the memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 26th @ StoreyBook Reviews
Visit Leslie’s blog where she shares an excerpt of Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
November 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Join Anthony as he interviews Neill McKee, author of the memoir Kid on the Go!.
December 2nd @ The Mommies Reviews
Visit Glenda’s blog today where she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
December 4th @ Mother Daughter Bookclub
Join Cindy today when she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!.
December 5th @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog
Join Fiona today when she shares Neill McKee’s guest post on writing a memoir in a youth’s voice but with present-day adult reflections.
December 7th @ CK Sorens’ Blog
Make sure to stop by CK Sorens’ blog today and check out a feature of Neill McKee’s memoir and enter to win a copy of the book too.
December 8th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she shares her thoughts about Neill McKee’s memoir Kid on the Go!. You’ll also have the chance to win a copy for yourself too.
December 10th @ Bookshine and Readbows
Join Steph as she shares Neill McKee’s guest post about how mentors changed his life.
December 10th @ Jill Sheets’ Blog
Join Jill as she interviews Neill McKee and features his memoir Kid on the Go!.
December 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog again as he shares his thoughts on Neill McKee’s newest memoir Kid on the Go!.
It is interesting to think about how different childhood is these days than it was when even I was young. Sounds like the freedoms the author enjoyed are a thing of the distant past. 🙂
So true Nicole. I was lucky to be living in the country when my own children were growing up 80s/90s and so they had a lot of freedom. My grandchildren now don’t have that at all.
This sounds like it would bring back a lot of memories. I love when a story is set close to home. Sounds like a great story, nice review Bev.
Thanks Carla. Surprisingly it did. I wasn’t expecting that when I started. Even though it was written by a man, there were similarities. Thanks for that Carla.
I don’t know much about Elmira, as I’ve only been to the maple syrup festival there, but it sounds like an interesting read.
It was.I enjoyed it and could relate to his upbringing.