Contemporary Huck Finn Tells His Story in New Book "Tales from Toadsuck"

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John Black shares memories of life growing up in Arkansas.

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I refused to accept defeat no matter how difficult my situation. I rolled with the punches and tried to do my best every day.

When most readers think of a tenacious American boy who sets out on his own after he has been left without parents, a Mark Twain character comes to mind. For John “J. Dub” Black, these stories aren’t fiction. He shares his stories in his new book, “Tales from Toadsuck”

Black, known as “Dubbie” throughout his childhood, tells the true story of his early years in the book. When his mother was taken to a mental institution when he was ten years old, his alcoholic father abandoned him. Instead of waiting for someone else to take care of him, Dubbie road his bike for 30 miles to his uncle’s farm, where the rest of his story takes place.

The book follows Dubbie’s life from ages 10 to 14 as he grows up on the farm and has adventures with his neighbors. While the beginning of his life may have been difficult, he found plenty of laughs and joys on the farm. His book follows many of the pranks he and his friends pulled and the adventures of life on the farm. While his grandmother may have thought he was destined to do nothing, Black was proud to prove her wrong.

“I refused to accept defeat no matter how difficult my situation. I rolled with the punches and tried to do my best every day,” Black says.

His story is an inspirational reminder that our circumstances do not have to determine the future. Black was able to have a happy young adulthood even with his parents gone. The tales from his past recall a simpler time, where all a young boy needed was some good friends and the outdoors to be happy.

“Life can be hard but a positive attitude can help you overcome your problems. No matter how big the problems are, always approach them with a positive ‘can do’ attitude,” he says.

“Tales from Toadsuck: The Adventures of a Young Boy Who Lived a Life Different from Other People His Age”
By John “J. Dub” Black
ISBN: 978-1-4620-6357-4 (sc); 978-1-4620-6358-1 (hc); 978-1-4620-6359-8 (e)
Paperback, $20.95
Hardcover, $30.95
Ebook, $3.99
Approximately 284 pages
Available at and

About the author
John “J. Dub” Black served a four-year stint in the US Navy and earned a business degree while taking extensive courses in writing and English. For years, he has written manuals and marketing materials. “Tales from Toadsuck” is his first book. He and his wife Linda have four children and eleven grandchildren. They now live in southern California.

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Karen Woods
Bohlsen Group
(317) 602-7137
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