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A Scout is Brave by Will Ludwigsen is a Summertime Books Event pick #historicalfiction #comingofage #summertime #giveaway

Title:  A Scout is Brave


Author:  Will Ludwigsen 


Genre:  Historical fiction


Book Blurb:


In the summer of 1963, Bud Castillo moved with his family from busy Queens, NY, to the bleak town of Innsmouth, MA, after a local oil consortium hired his father to help with a drilling platform off the coast. Bud meets a kindred spirit in the town library, Aubrey, the only other boy in town. Scouting is the cornerstone of Bud's life, and founding a troop in Innsmouth is the only way he can conceive of coping with what he is sure is a disastrous move. But the delights of that summer are coming to an end, as Bud discovers that Reverend Pritchett of the Evangelical Progress Temple has plans to return Innsmouth to greatness and glory. 




The library looked like one of those Carnegie jobs, a marble cube with columns and steps leading, of course, to planks nailed across the doors.


Now, the Scout handbook doesn’t forbid breaking and entering, and you could tell yourself that exploring a building wouldn’t be much different than exploring the woods, as long as you left no trace. So I tucked my bike into the bushes and walked around the building to, you know, investigate my options.


Toward the rear corner, I heard a creaking noise. I froze and then crept forward, rolling each foot gently from heel to toe to walk in silence like the Algonquin tribe used to do. That’s how I found the boy whose foot was sticking out from under a sheet of plywood covering a back window.


I watched as the foot and shoe – a dressy brown loafer, to my surprise – wiggled and turned and began to descend with the legs following after. The pace quickened, and a boy dropped out like a spoonful of cookie batter to land in the leaves.


He had three books in his hand held together by a belt, and he bent to sweep the dust from his pants. He must have caught sight of me from the corner of his eye because he recoiled and let out an odd gurgling shriek that I have been able to imitate now from then to now, something you’d spell with a lot of A’s

and maybe some G’s and H’s.


He stumbled back, slipped in the wet leaves, and landed on his can. He scrambled backward a moment but stopped when I reached out a hand to help him up.


He looked me over before taking my hand, and I did the same to him. The boy was smaller than me but with a large oblong head reminding me of a fist. His eyes were set wide apart, and he had a flattened nose above thin lips. His hair was combed from one side across the top in wispy strands. He didn’t strike me then as the kind of kid who’d ever be on the cover of Boys' Life, let’s say.


“You got a library card for those?” I asked, nodding toward the books he’d dropped.


He glanced back. “No. I mean yes, I have permission from Reverend Pritchett to borrow whatever books I’d like.”


His voice, louder than it needed to be, reminded me of the out-of-tune piano in the old church basement where we used to hold our Scout meetings back in Flushing, hollow and warbling.


He clasped my hand, and I helped him to his feet.


“Is that why you sneak inside?” I said.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





What makes your featured book a must-read?


This clever coming-of-age story about two strange friends trying to start a Boy Scout troop in one of the most infamous small towns in speculative fiction (Lovecraft’s Innsmouth) is just the thing to make you feel nostalgic for your wide-eyed youth.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $30 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.

Runs June 25 – July 4, 2024.

Winner will be drawn on July 5, 2024.


Author Biography:


Will Ludwigsen’s stories of strange mystery have appeared in eclectic venues like Asimov’s Science Fiction, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Weird Tales, among many other places. His collection, In Search Of and Others, was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. Will earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine and taught genre creative writing at the University of North Florida. When he isn’t reconciling the eerie with the absurd as a corporate education writer, he’s doing it for you in his fiction. Will lives and writes in Jacksonville, FL, with his partner Aimee Payne, also a writer. Yes, he was a Boy Scout who took it way too seriously. You can follow him online at


Social Media Links:


On X (formerly Twitter) @Will_Ludwigsen

Facebook:  ludwigsen

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Thank you, Will, for sharing your book in our Summertime Books Bookish Event!

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