This book is a first-person account about growing up poor in small-town America. It is a diary of sorts, a memoir, about life as perceived by a fictional boy from a fictional family living in a fictional town. The chapters are compilations of similar experiences and venues about school, girls, family, living without money, and social challenges.
“Making lemonade out of everything” is a figure of speech, a metaphor for how people make do with nothing. For example, integrating Chevy parts into a Ford; making a wheel barrel out of oak, nails, and a lawn mower wheel; feeding a family for under ten dollars a week; and entertaining yourself on a rainy Saturday playing with Mom’s clothespins and pie pans.
The context for the story is introduced through third-party narration in chapters 1 and 2 and then transitions to a first-party account by a boy named William Seabold.
Everyone called him Bill.