"You should write a book!" Thus encouraged by his
grandchildren, Francis J. Connelly sat down and did just that.
The result is ...By Reason of Childhood, the candid story of his
courageous journey through early life. Filled with rich detail
about Brooklyn in the late 1930's and 40's, ...By Reason of
Childhood is an engaging combination of memoir and
genealogical detective story.
Though he is being raised poor by an orphaned mother and a
mostly absent alcoholic father, Frankie nonetheless tackles life
with joy and tenacity. We share in his innocent adventures:
Sneaking into Ebbets Field to see the Dodgers, hitchhiking
through New England, spending a night in jail. We meet the
unforgettable characters who populate his world, like Gene, the
ghoulish hardware store owner, and Frankie Kane, the
inscrutable but kindly father figure. As he endures house fires,
bullies, armed robbery, summer camps from hell, and myriad
illnesses, accidents, and injuries, Frankie somehow retains his
sense of humor and essential goodness.
Through experiences both poignant and comical, sifted
mysteriously through the sieve of his family history, Frankie
emerges as an anxious yet intrepid survivor. ...By Reason of
Childhood is infused with a spirit of nostalgia, love, and, most of