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Boy 21 April 29, 2013

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

boy21

Finley, known as “White Rabbit” to his teammates, loves basketball.  His earliest memories are of shooting hoops under the night sky.  It may be his only chance of escape from Bellmont, a gritty town ruled by the Irish mob.  He and girlfriend, Erin hope to leave for a brighter future by way of college scholarships.

Russell Allen was star ball player and top college recruit.  That was until his parents were murdered and he moved to Bellmont to live with his grandparents.  Now he wants to be known as Boy 21 – and he doesn’t want to play basketball.

Finley is asked by his coach to take Boy 21 under his wing since they both share mysterious and violent pasts.  This unlikely pairing just may be the best thing for both of these stargazers.

Hooked from page 1, I loved every minute of this mesmerizing story.  Not a sports fan?  No worries when picking up this one.  Matthew Quick, author of Sorta Like a Rockstar and The Silver Linings Playbook delivers another emotional and touching story of redemption and the celebration of life.

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In Darkness by Nick Lake February 14, 2013

Filed under: Books — Heather @ 10:17 pm
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in-darkness-nick-lake-130x200Shorty is a Hatian boy trapped in the rubble of his hospital room after the catestrophic earthquake in 2010.  As his mind wanders over the traumatic events of his short life, he waits in vain for rescue.  Shorty remembers the violence living in Site Soley, the most poverty stricken and violent area in the Western Hemisphere.  The murder of his father and kidnapping of his twin sister by gang members, the death of his friends Biggie, finding a baby in the trash on the side of the road…all these memories swirl around him as consciouness comes and goes.

Alternately, we go back to 1791 where Toussaint Louverture, famed Haitian revolutionary, is leading the Slave Rebellion in the French colony of Saint Domingue.  Toussaint witnesses Vodou rituals with fellow revolutionary Boukman.  Superstition and ritual spurred on the slaves, as they revolted and reclaimed a free Haiti.

What brings these two stories together?  Struggle.  Oppression.  Hope.  Superstition.  Zombis.  Life.  Death.  Darkness.

Nick Lake has done a masterful job intertwining these two tales of Haiti, one modern and one timeless.  Rich in history, In Darkness opens a window to a seldom seen part of our world.  I can see why In Darkness was named 2013 Printz  Award winner.