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Literature & Fiction - Genre Fiction Teen & Young Adult - Fiction

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Growing an Inch

ISBN: 9780965624718
Binding: Paperback
Author: Stanley Gordon West
Pages: 254
Trim: 5.4 x 8.4 inches
Published: 05/01/2003

1949 -  A story about a boy who made a solemn vow and became a man keeping it.

Saint Paul/Minneapolis - Those unforgettable days after World War II when people turned back to their personal lives with optimism, a time of Fibber McGee and Molly, newsreels, milkmen, boogie-woogie, The Best Years of Our Lives and chrome-grilled automobiles.

Against this evocative backdrop, Stanley West composes this heartrending song, bittersweet lyrics that will lift your spirit, touch your heart and leave you humming… wishing it wouldn't end.

In one fateful moment, Donny Cunningham comes face to face with unthinkable horror, when his live caves in on him. Changed forever. The task of raising his brothers and sister falls to him when his mother dies. A senior at St. Paul Central, he does whatever it takes to keep his family together, while his father leads them ever closer to disaster. Surrounded by his zany and lionhearted siblings, his fun-loving friends, and hoping to find love and understanding from his high school sweetheart, Donny is caught between the law - which has a claim on his young brother - and the gangsters - who have a claim on his father. This humor and daring and grit, he fights the dragon of regret with an inner courage and strength that belies his physical stature.


Stanley Gordon West was born in St. Paul, MN and grew up during the Great Depression and the World War II years. He graduated from Central High School in 1950 and attended Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in history and geology in 1955. He moved from the Midwest to Montana in 1964 where he raised a large family. Stanley wrote several novels, including AMOS: To Ride a Dead Horse, which was produced as a CBS Movie of the Week starring Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Montgomery and Dorothy McGuire and was nominated for four Emmys. You Are My Sunshine was his last work before his passing in 2015.


"A young boy takes you on an emotional journey as he faces life at its most unbearable and its most sublime. Just when you think everything is fine, he gets slugged in the guts. A feel good story you can't put down." - Bill Neff

"Growing an Inch is the third story about the St. Paul Central Class of 1950, and I feel like I'm a classmate. I like how the three stories overlap, giving a detailed account of one classmate's life while touching upon others' stories as well. I hope he (Stanley Gordon West) has another classmate in mind to write about. He's become one of my favorite writers." - Craig Finstad