Cory Mackenson, age 12, lives in Zephyr, Alabama, a quiet town that has an odd air of [[{{MagicalRealism}} magic to it]]. One day, while Cory is out with his father delivering milk, the two witness the aftermath of a horrific murder, the victim disappearing in a lake. Tom Mackenson is deeply haunted by this, and Cory attempts to find clues to the identity of the murderer.

...and yet, despite the above event, this book is truly about [[{{ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin}} the life of a boy]]. The murder provides a story arc. a conflict and a climax, but ''Boy's Life'' is, at its core, a SliceOfLife novel, alternating between [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming heartwarming]] and [[TearJerker heartwrenching events]] in one year of Cory's life.

One of Creator/RobertRMcCammon's best known books, and winner of the 1992 UsefulNotes/WorldFantasyAward, ''Boy's Life'' is something along the lines of "''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'', but with a 12-year-old boy in the 1960's.

Not to be confused with the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America titled ''Boys' Life'' or Tobias Wolff's "This Boy's Life.".
!!This novel contains examples of:

* AnimalMotifs: It's subtle, but there are recurring themes of birds and flight. [[spoiler:Yes, they are extremely relevant.]]
* CoolOldGuy: Mr. Lightfoot
* DarkestHour: The better part of "Winter's Cold Truth", but especially "[[{{Irony}} Faith]]".
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: [[{{AvertedTrope}} NO]]...well, [[{{CrowningMomentOfFunny}} maybe for the readers]], but the people of Zephyr definitely don't appreciate the aptly named Lucifer.
* HurlItIntoTheSun: At the end of the second part, Nemo, [[spoiler:enraged by the fact he has to move yet again]] literally hurls a baseball at the sun and stalks off. [[spoiler: The ball never comes down]].
* [[spoiler: KillTheCutie]]: [[spoiler: Davy Ray.]]
* MagicalNegro: The Lady, quite literally.
* MagicalRealism: This book pushes the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief ''quite'' far with the amount of ridiculously prevalent supernatural happenings, including but not limited to: ghosts, a magical woman who can [[spoiler:turn bullets into snakes]], a dog [[spoiler:being brought back to life through prayer]], [[spoiler: [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs a completely unexplained triceratops/rhino thing]], a baseball apparently thrown INTO THE SUN]], and a magical biting bike.
* MostWritersAreWriters
* MrFixIt: Mr. Lightfoot can fix anything. [[spoiler:He even disarms an atomic bomb.]]
* SnowMeansDeath
* SubliminalSeduction: According to Reverend Blesset, the Beach Boys do it. ("The Devil Is My Strawberry!")
* UnexplainedRecovery: Rebel. [[spoiler:This is not a good thing.]]