The Books

Rocks in His Head

by Carol Otis Hurst
Illustrated by James Stevenson

One Potato Review

Modest, like the amateur mineralogist of the title – and important like that mineralogist too. Here is a story told from the perspective of an inconspicuous narrator (Hurst?) about her father, and it has the ring of historical truth, fit together like the pieces of Model T Ford which James Stevenson lovingly illustrates along the way. When the stock market crashes in 1929, the dad with “rocks in his head” needs to shutter the filling station which has furnished both a livelihood and a showcase for his life-long collection of stones, then takes a job as a janitor at a venerable museum of science where somebody finally recognizes his fascination with a future – college degree or not. This is about following your dreams and all that, but it’s equally a tribute to the sort of independent thinking which sometimes permits those dreams to illuminate others. Attention gatekeepers. Most of the really good stuff you can’t list on a resumé.