Spotlight on BOY 21 by Matthew Quick

This book is one of the best I've read in a while and definitely this year. Matthew Quick is a super talented author with a strong voice and this latest project was up to par with his debut Sorta Like A Rockstar, which I also loved. Boy 21 is the type of book that you don't want to put down. It takes you into a world that you don't want great kids like Finley and Erin to live in and then it takes you into pain that you don't want a good kid like Russ to have to experience. Actually, if I'm being completely honest, I don't want any kids to leave tough lives or experience death of family. I want a world where kids feel safe walking around their neighborhoods. And maybe it's that anxiety, that naive desire for a safe and happy world, that made me even more tense as I turned page after page. The book is supposed to be about basketball, but as the reader finds right away, it's about so very much more.

BOY21 (Little, Brown & Co): Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights and Finley is left alone to take care of his disabled grandfather. He's always dreamed of somehow getting out, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. The life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, and yet answers only to the name Boy21—taken from his former jersey number.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, "Boy21″ may turn out to be the answer they both need. Matthew Quick, the acclaimed author of Sorta Like a Rock Star, brings readers a moving novel about hope, recovery, and redemption.

Still need convincing? Publisher's Weekly loved it and Kirkus (yes Kirkus!) gave it a STARRED review:
"...satisfying but never simple... A story that, like [its narrator] Finley, expresses a lot in relatively few words." Kirkus *STARRED REVIEW*
"...[Quick's] emotionally raw tale retains a delicate sense of hope and optimism, making it a real gut punch of a read." Publishers Weekly
I'm happy for Matthew Quick and the much deserved praise this books has already received. Do yourself a favor and get this book for your libraries and your kids. Do them the favor.

You can find Matthew Quick at:


Denise Jaden said...

LOVED Sorta Like a Rock Star, so of course I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! Thanks for the spotlight!

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