In Reginald McKnight's short story, "The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas," how old is the narrator in the story?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas," author Reginald McKnight does not disclose the actual age of his narrator Clint for a number of paragraphs. Prior to that, we learn that Clint is attending an integrated primary school in Waco, Texas. Primary school is another term for elementary school. We also learn that there are a surprising number of kids who are well past elementary school age in Clint's 6th grade class. For example, Clint reports in his narration that the third African-American kid in his class, the girl nicknamed Ah-so is actually 16 years old. Clint further reports that "there were at least half a dozen older kids in" his class and that one kid named Lawrence Ridderbeck was rumored to have a "kid and a wife" (p. 2).

However, before the reader can begin speculating that our narrator Clint is also well past the typical age of 6th graders, by the time we reach about the 7th paragraph in the short story, the reader learns that Clint himself is only 12, just like other 6th graders are commonly between the ages of 11 and 12.