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Spotlight on Local Authors
A pitch-perfect rendering of adolescence turning the corner to manhood. I found it easy to care about these believable, compelling characters as they matured together through the course of a football season. This is a good book to put in the hands of a reluctant teen or young adult reader. --Angel
Local author Frank Morelli has written a genuine novel about loyalty, self-reliance and love. Young adults will find a lot to identify with, though this book will appeal to older generations, too. It's wryly funny and so, so well-written.
A sense of authenticity in the aftermath of tragedy is the heartbeat of this wonderful, fresh Young Adult novel. Frank Morelli infuses honesty into each of the characters, most notably Gabe LoScuda, the protagonist, who is strong-willed and stubborn, yet painfully aware that he's in over his head.
The sudden death of his parents made him the default caregiver for his vulnerable grandfather, whom he has sworn to protect. Gabe has the extra burden of looking out for his hapless uncle, who is supposed to be looking out for Gabe. On top of all that, Gabe is--at eighteen--both an adult and an unpopular high school senior. --Laura
This book spans at least two genres: business writing and world history. Not only is it a pulse-quickening account of the race to the South Pole, but it is also a study in two very different schools of leadership. When British explorer Robert Scott reached the South Pole on January 17, 1912, he and his men found a flag already planted there by a Norwegian team who had reached the Pole 35 days prior. It was a dramatic anticlimax to a doomed expedition that ended in the deaths of Scott and many of his men. It would be Roald Amundsen’s name in the history books. Scott, however heroic and revered by the British, had fallen short. True South explores the differences in leadership styles that led to the Norwegian team’s success and the tragic failure of the British. Johnston draws specific conclusions about effective leadership from the story of the race to the South Pole. It’s a thoroughly entertaining book that will leave you with invaluable lessons in leadership. True South is well-written, clearly stated, and beneficial to anyone in a leadership position.
Subtitled, “Reflections of a Grey Haired Man,” this is both memoir and motivational guide, using the language of sports as home base (forgive me). Hayes, who lives in the neighborhood, grew up playing baseball, and shares life lessons he’s gleaned from his years in the game. He is also an ordained Baptist minister, and he stresses that Christian values are not only compatible with competitive sports, but can help your game. Words of wisdom from his years as an athlete share the page with quotes from famous coaches and players of many sports, as well as Christian scripture.
Jack Nicklaus teaches us about the importance of a positive attitude, while 1 Peter comforts us with the knowledge that God will restore us after a setback. NASCAR teaches us that the fuel we choose for our bodies is important, as does the Gospel of John. From Steph Curry to Wade Boggs, Hayes finds lessons from athletes of many sports.
The book is not heavy-handed or preachy, but light and positive. It’s full of encouragement and practical advice for young adults or middle grades readers, whether athletes or not.
You’re never too young to learn important life lessons that will help you establish goals and reach them. That’s the starting point for Bill McKenzie’s book, which is intended for middle schoolers and up. Each chapter cites real-life examples from fields as varied as business, sports, and the military, and is clearly summarized in bullet points. There are inspirational stories from present-day teens to ancient philosophers. Learn focus from a Paralympian swimmer, passion from J.K. Rowling, and teamwork from Navy SEALs. It’s a compulsively readable little book that would make a meaningful gift for any child.