Wow. This little book packs a punch. One of the Boys is short, quick reading, deceptively simple, and deeply affecting.
The twelve-year-old narrator has always revered his affable, charismatic father. After witnessing a "war" of separation and divorce, he desperately wants to be "one of the boys" with his dad and older brother when they decide to leave Kansas for New Mexico. He wants to be there to experience his dad's promised freedom to be like a kid again. So he does what it takes to make it happen.
Maybe lives on the streets with a tribe of homeless teens. These kids are runaways and throwaways, they have no place to go except cold city streets and have no family other than each other. They are abused, abandoned, and forgotten by society, every day they struggle to survive against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. But now there is a new girl, Tears, a 12 year old whose mother didn’t believe she had been abused by her stepfather. As the other kids start to disappear from violence, addiction, and exposure, Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets before it becomes too late....
Aiden was six when he went missing during a bad rainstorm which flooded the banks of the river that runs through their village. His family and police believed he had been swept away by the river and drowned, having only found his jacket floating in the river and no body. Ten years later his mom is married and in her last month of pregnancy when she gets the incredible news that Aiden is alive.
This book was extremely hard to read, but also hard to put down.
The Sound of Gravel is the true story of Ruth Wariner, a young girl growing up as a Mormon fundamentalist in the 80’s, traveling between Mexico and the United States with her ever expanding family. After Ruthie’s father is killed by his own brother when, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife to a practicing polygamist.
Told mostly in reverse order, But I Love Him chronicles the relationship between Anna and Connor. The reader is introduced to Anna, a high school senior, who has spent the past year focused on Connor, and has slowly given up the people and things that were important to her prior to meeting him.
It took Joy Harjo fourteen years to write her memoir Crazy Brave. In it she tells of her parents' tumultuous marriage. Harjo's beautiful mother opposes her own father, traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma in search of a mate. When young, Harjo's father had been sent to a military academy where he “learned anger as a method to control sensitivity.” When the violent marriage ends, an abusive stepfather steps in to consume the family. At sixteen, when her stepfather tries to send her to a Christian boarding school, Joy pleads with her mother to send her, instead, to The Institute of American Indian Arts.
Taylor Greer has just graduated from high school in rural Kentucky. Born to a poor, single mother and without many of life’s advantages, Taylor manages to talk her way into a lab technician’s job at the hospital, save enough money to buy a beat up Volkswagen Bug, and get out of town before she winds up pregnant or as some tobacco farmer’s wife. Most of Taylor’s pluckiness can be attributed to the roots her mother has provided her—encouragement and faith in her daughter’s abilities that are worth far more than the money she doesn’t have to offer.
Reality Boy is a work of fiction that shows the awful truth about Reality TV. But don’t let the word “awful” turn you off. This is an amazingly well written book. The author, A.S. King, does something magical: Just as you begin to lose faith in the human race, she shows us how it's all going to be OK. For Gerald. And for us.
What a sad, sick, powerful story. Three runaways desperately attempt to flee from the ugliness they've always known. These kids are both awful and sympathetic. Custis, a homeless boy, narrates most of the story. When strangers ask how old he is, his reply is always just, "old enough". Custis never mentions his parents or any permanent caregivers. He has recently fled a pedophile who, in exchange for “owning” Custis, had been letting him sleep on the floor in a room that smells like dog.