I’m kicking off a new feature on my blog called Author Love which I created to spotlight authors I love and think others will love as well. I have some great authors lined up for this feature! This will be a way for me to discuss each author’s group of titles, link to my reviews, feature a quote from each other, etc.
I’m excited to feature Shawn Goodman in my very first Author Love post!
Reasons I love Shawn Goodman…
- He writes about troubled characters while still offering glimmers of hope.
- He’s a school psychologist who actively works to enhance student literacy.
- His characters are unique, well-developed, and ones I care about long after finishing their story.
- My reluctant readers gravitate to his books and ask for more when they finish.
- His books are engaging, quick reads that are hard to put down.
My question for Shawn (and all Author Love authors): “Why do you love writing for teens?”
“I love writing for teens because they don’t care who I am, or where I come from. They care about whether or not it’s a good story, and if it makes them think and feel. I think teens are able to let themselves go into a story without a whole lot of judgment or preconceived ideas. And when a book works, there’s this amazing, powerful relationship between two complete strangers: the reader, and the writer.”
Shawn Goodman’s Books:
17-year-old Shavonne has been in juvenile detention since the seventh grade. Mr Delpopolo is the first counselor to treat her as an equal, and he helps her get to the bottom of her self-destructive behavior, her guilt about past actions, and her fears about leaving the Center when she turns 18. Shavonne tells him the truth about her crack-addicted mother, the child she had (and gave up to foster care) at fifteen, and the secret shame she feels about what she did to her younger brother after her mother abandoned them.
Meanwhile, Shavonne’s mentally unstable roommate Cinda makes a rash move, and Shavonne’s quick thinking saves her life—and gives her the opportunity to get out of the Center if she behaves well. But Shavonne’s faith is tested when her new roommate, mentally retarded and pregnant Mary, is targeted by a guard as a means to get revenge on Shavonne. As freedom begins to look more and more likely, Shavonne begins to believe that maybe she, like the goslings recently hatched on the Center’s property, could have a future somewhere else—and she begins to feel something like hope.
This is a brutally honest, but hopeful story of finding yourself and moving beyond your past.
“In the spirit of [Walter Dean Myers’s] Monster meeting The Catcher in the Rye, Goodman’s masterful story will remain with the reader long after the last page, echoing the raw truth that perhaps a real man is one who is both brave and scared.” —Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray
In an environment where kindness equals weakness, how do those who care survive?
Shawn Goodman will capture your heart with this gritty, honest, and moving story about a boy struggling to learn about friendship, brotherhood, and manhood in a society where violence is the answer to every problem.