Review: The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz

The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz

The Prince of Steel Pier
Stacy Nockowitz
Kar-Ben Publishing
Published September 1, 2022

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About The Prince of Steel Pier

A young teen falls in with the Mob and learns a lesson about what kind of person he wants to be.

In THE PRINCE OF STEEL PIER, Joey Goodman is spending the summer at his grandparents’ struggling hotel in Atlantic City, a tourist destination on the decline. Nobody in Joey’s big Jewish family takes him seriously, so when Joey’s Skee-Ball skills land him an unusual job offer from a local mobster, he’s thrilled to be treated like “one of the guys,” and develops a major crush on an … Continue reading

Review: Malcolm and Me by Robin Farmer

Malcolm and Me by Robin Farmer

Malcolm and Me
Robin Farmer
SparkPress
Published November 17, 2020

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About Malcolm and Me

Philly native Roberta Forest is a precocious rebel with the soul of a poet. The thirteen-year-old is young, gifted, black, and Catholic—although she’s uncertain about the Catholic part after she calls Thomas Jefferson a hypocrite for enslaving people and her nun responds with a racist insult. Their ensuing fight makes Roberta question God and the important adults in her life, all of whom seem to see truth as gray when Roberta believes it’s … Continue reading

Review and Author Q&A: Music From Another World by Robin Talley

Music from Another World by Robin Talley

Music From Another World
Robin Talley
Inkyard Press
Published March 31, 2020

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About Music From Another World

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only … Continue reading

Review: Recipe for Hate by Warren Kinsella

Recipe for Hate by Warren KinsellaRecipe for Hate
Warren Kinsella
Dundurn Press
Published on October 21, 2017

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About Recipe for Hate
The X Gang is a group of punks led by the scarred, silent, and mostly unreadable Christopher X. His best friend, Kurt Blank, is a hulking and talented punk guitarist living in the closet. Sisters Patti and Betty Upchuck form the core of the feminist Punk Rock Virgins band, and are the closest to X and Kurt. Assorted hangers-on and young upstarts fill out the X Gang’s orbit: the Hot Nasties, the Social Blemishes, and even the legendary Joe Strummer of the Clash. Together, they’ve all … Continue reading

Review: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

tell-me-something-realTell Me Something Real
Calla Devlin
Simon & Schuster / Atheneum

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Her mother’s cancer dominates Vanessa’s life. Alternative treatments in Mexico are the only hope for her mom, whose cancer is terminal. While Vanessa tries to anticipate her mother’s every need and keep her sisters (foul-mouthed Adrienne and saint-obsessed Marie) together, she also dreams of a day when she can pursue her own dreams. She pours out her grief in her music and counts the days until she’ll hear back from music schools about applications she’s secretly sent out.

Then two new members join Vanessa’s family group—a boy whose cancer is in remission and his overprotective mother. As Vanessa and Caleb begin to fall in … Continue reading

Spotlight on Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom's Just Another WordFreedom’s Just Another Word
by Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Available September 1, 2016

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About Freedom’s Just Another Word

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart – and her voice – in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. … Continue reading