"The next second it was thrashing around on its side in the road, honking like crazy. It twisted the hoop six ways to Saturday but couldn’t tear through the cloth."

Will Will's full name is William Sidney Peterson, but no one ever calls him that. Will Will is as unique as his nickname—the leader of the pack, the Dennis the Menace of his hometown. In his book, Hyland recounts eight adventures he embarked on thanks to (or perhaps because of) his best friend Will Will. Set in the 1950s and 60s in a little town in Illinois, this charming trip down memory lane invites readers to take part in the boys' adventures and perhaps reminisce about their own childhoods as a result.

The lead character takes center stage in this short collection of stories. He is imaginative and inventive, coming up with crazy schemes and creating entertainment for himself and his classmates. Will Will and the author go fishing for catfish together, catch butterflies (and other creatures they're better off leaving alone), make up war games, get up to no good with some slingshots, and more. Even a mundane task like helping out with spring cleaning turns into an exciting adventure at the hands of these two friends. Will Will's mischief often ends in punishment or bruised friendships, but it's always worth it. Charmingly illustrated by Eldora Larson, the stories reveal a pure friendship; they remind us that time and time again, boys will be boys.

The boys show many different sides to them and their personalities, adding a complexity and understanding of young boys of that era that is often missing from modern children's books. One moment they might be playing a silly game, and the next they're having fist fights on the playground. They go from being supportive of each other to merciless teasing. They are as real as young boys can be, and readers will sense the author's own memories playing an important role in his telling of these stories. Hyland’s tale offers young readers a glimpse into what life used to be like for children, but it is equally accessible and attractive to adults, who will be reminded of their own childhood friends and adventures.

Hyland takes us back over half a century and infuses his writing with nostalgia. His writing evokes the era's simplicity, from the antiquated manner the boys speak to their interests. With no technology to distract them, the boys must create their own entertainment, often spending most of their time outside thinking up new games and fun activities. They make their own butterfly nets, fishing poles, and slingshots. Through Hyland's clear writing style, the boys take us back to a simpler time. Readers will undoubtedly emerge from the book with a hankering for the days when every moment was worth something.

Although Will Will comes off as an incredibly likable and realistic individual, Hyland admits that the character is a combination of a few of his childhood friends. At the end of the day, despite all the times Will Will's ideas have led to trouble, he is a kind-hearted boy. Will Will and Me is a wonderful tale of two best friends. It's a reminder that even the smallest, most insignificant or boring task can become an amazing adventure.

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