A prize-winning author returns to his Alabama childhood in this "profound, engrossing ... and heartbreakingly real novel" [Kirkus Reviews] of the bloody South in 1958, a coming-of-age story of love, heroism and murder in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Sonny Poe worries he'll start ninth grade without a girlfriend when in the midnight woods he witnesses the most violent of racial horrors, the gruesome lynching of a black boy. Terrified, he runs, is chased, finds safety high in an oak. But his life is now irrevocably changed.
Traumatized, Sonny lives out his summer in terror of being found by the town's KKK. Now desperate for guidance and answers, he latches onto a progressive doctor with a crusading spirit, a man who will turn Sonny's and his own mysterious life upside down in a tension-fueled thriller of betrayal and corruption that can only end in tragedy--and hope.
"Ron Argo's latest novel, The Sum of His Worth, is an unusual and highly charged combination of social fiction and coming-of-age story. It stars a young man named Sonny Poe, whose ordinary teenage preoccupations are complicated by the fact that his small hometown - Woodstock, Alabama in the 1960s - is a stronghold of the KKK and a boiling cauldron of both racism and nascent activism.
"Sonny is taken under the tutelage of a passionate racially-crusading doctor, and the bulk of the novel follows them as they encounter all the violence and hatred their racist townsfolk can throw at them.
"Argo does an excellent job humanizing his characters and bringing all the tensions of the era vividly to life - while simultaneously giving readers a very affecting portrait of young Sonny's high-school years. Argo doesn't flinch from the raw nature of his subject matter, and his skillful narration makes this a visceral, memorable novel."--Historical Novels Society Review
"Electrifying and hugely entertaining, The Sum of His Worth is a well-crafted novels with powerful themes that reminded me of the writings of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes,a work that brilliantly showcases the racial atmosphere in Alabama in the 60s.
"The author has a greatgift for both plot and character, and the themes are masterfully woven into theintricacies of the action-packed plot.
"Disturbing and raw,you won't put it down, even if your heart bleeds at times." Arya Fomonyuy, Readers'Favorite 5 Stars