Defender is Edgar Award-winning author Graham McNamee’s latest book, so it features a mystery plot, but McNamee also performs some genre-blending to create a sports story with some psychological thriller elements, as well. With its focus on the ugly effects of anger and on hiding family secrets, Defender frequently reminded me of Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac.  Although Bruchac’s book doesn’t carry the sports angle and McNamee’s doesn’t develop the theme of awareness of ancestral heritage as a key in shaping identity, both novels feature protagonists who learn that life doesn’t work well when lived in hiding and that “never tell” is not a healthy familyRead More →

In real life (IRL), Scarlett Epstein attends Melville High; she’s sixteen years old and the product of a home broken by divorce.  To escape the mundane fakery she encounters in school—where everyone’s life seems defined by relationship drama, financial status, and popularity—she writes fan fiction based on the Lycanthrope High series created by John St. Clair and posts it online.  In writing group fashion, her online forum of friends share their alternate plots and embellished characters and give one another feedback.  But when the show is cancelled, Scarlett feels adrift and without a purpose.  Writing makes Scarlett feel like a real person; it allows herRead More →