book review, Len Vlahos, San Francisco Book Review, Scar Boys

The Scar Boys — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
~ Henry Ford~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Wonder why your work was rejected? Anne R. Allen has an entertaining post HERE to answer that question.
If you are going to get writing advice, why not get it from one of the most prolific writers on the planet. Aerogramme Writers’ Studio has a post HEREcalled Stephen King’s “Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully — in Ten Minutes.”
That old bugaboo, the synopsis, generated this excellent post at the Write Practice HERE by Monica M. Clark.
No giveaway last week, but I will have one this week, so please keep reading. I usually stick to middle-grade books, but this one really is young adult. What can I say? Sometimes I do read other kinds of books. And this is such a good book, I think a lot of you may choose to stretch your reading wings a bit and include this on your list. It is The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Harry is only eight years old the day bullies tie him to a tree and leave him there in a thunderstorm. The tree is struck by lightning, catches fire, and Harry’s life is forever changed. If he had trouble with bullies before this deforming event, things only get worse. When he is in middle school, he is befriended by popular Johnny, who rescues him from some bullies and suggests they start a band. They find two other guys to join them and practice and play their way through high school, until they are good enough to start playing for pay. Suddenly, the bass player drops out. When auditioning for a replacement, they find beautiful Cheyenne. This, again, changes everything for Harry.
“My tongue tied itself in a neat little knot and a bowling ball dropped from my esophagus to my stomach. My fingertips and toes went numb.”
Len Vlahos structures this wonderful novel as if it were a college application essay, and this works really well. Harry’s voice is clear and absolutely

Len Vlahos

appropriate for a guy at eighteen to tell his story, and the structure allows Harry the ability to speak directly to the reader in ways that an ordinary novel structure would not. The writing and story are very strong, and this exceptional story should reach an audience far beyond the young adult segment it targets. 

I have a gently read hardback copy of this terrific book for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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