With his debut novel, Tyler Johnson Was Here, Jay Coles tells the story of Tyler and Marvin Johnson, twin teenage boys living in Sterling Point, Alabama.  In their neighborhood, they worry often about police visits, gang-infested streets, robberies, vandalism, and gun violence.  For eight years, their father has been in Montgomery Correctional Facility for a crime he did not commit, and Marvin would “kill to have him back” (19). Because he hung around men who committed crimes, Jamal Johnson received his sentence from a corrupt system.  To cope with his dad’s absence and to see past the shame, Marvin writes letters to his absent father,Read More →

Set in the summer and fall of 1972, in the small town of Stony Gap, Virginia, Kathryn Erskine‘s latest, Seeing Red, is full to the brim with the little details of everyday life, woven together so expertly as to create a richly detailed portrait of a young man, his family, his town, and his world, that is an emotional powerhouse for readers, young and old alike.  12 year old Red Porter’s daddy, his hero, has recently died of a heart attack and Red’s entire world is reeling.  Left with doubt, debt, and nothing to keep them in Stony Gap, Red’s mama is preparing to sellRead More →