What would you do if you had a problem so large, so immensely and terrible, you just couldn’t bring yourself to face it? Would you want run away from it or deal with it head on? Kendra is in deep trouble and she is anxiously pinioned, unable to decide whether to fight or fly. She’s been cheating for months and someone has finally caught her. She panics, just as her older brother, Grayson, is returning home from rehabilitation. In her despair, she superimposes her problems onto him, believing she can somehow ameliorate her situation by fixing her brother’s obsessive compulsive behavior. With this in mind,Read More →

Because Sarah Lean’s first novel features an Irish wolfhound, who looks like he would go to the ends of the earth to save his master, A Dog Called Homeless is a dog story, but it is also a ghost story, a coming-of-age story, and a story somewhat reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, which also features a female protagonist whose selective mutism follows personal tragedy.  Because Lean’s tale embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences, the book also deserves a look by the Schneider Family Book Awards committee.  With all of its identities, this author’s first novel has multi-audienceRead More →

Readers of Carl Deuker’s sports stories will likely enjoy T. Glen Coughlin’s latest book.  One Shot Away: A Wrestling Story follows the narratives of three wrestlers in Molly Pitcher, New Jersey, during their senior year: Jimmy O’Shea, Diggy Masters, and Trevor Crow. Although not the typical wrestler’s build at 6’2”, Jimmy is ranked best 160 pounder in the county and slated for the Wall of Champions if he can avoid the distraction of his dad’s dastardly deeds.  Mr. O’Shea’s PhD in post hole digging, predilection for thievery, and passion for alcohol threaten to jeopardize Jimmy’s goals. At 152 pounds, Diggy is living in the shadowRead More →

The Right and the Real by Joëlle Anthony contains the typical adolescent girl themes: romance, friendship, and finding one’s own voice or identity, but it transcends those themes to explore the impact of poverty, addictive personalities, and religious organizations that border on cultish behavior.  Seventeen-year-old, Jamie Lexington-Cross fears being sent back to her drug addicted mom when her alcoholic dad stops attending therapy and trades one addiction for another, the Right and the Real church. Brainwashed by the petite Mira whom he takes as his bride and by the loud and certain preacher who considers himself Jesus, Robert Lexington-Cross evicts his pragmatic daughter from theirRead More →