professornana (professornana) wrote,

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thanks Wendy Lamb

Wish I had the cover of the new Rene Saldana book to show you, but I will need to scan it first since my usual sources do not have the cover image available. However, even without a cover, this slim and powerful novel of friendship is beautiful. Barry and Alby have been friends since the first day of school. Their friendship has had some bumps, but Alby has been there for Barry in the tough times. But now it is Alby who is in a world of hurt. He has gambled away money and must repay the thug who played him or undergo some painful penalties. Alby convinces Barry to participate in a fight night event, promising Barry a large purse that will help the family's need for money.

So, what works so well here? This novel has all the attributes to attract reluctant readers for a start: slim, interesting title and cover, and a bang up opening chapter. However, this book is not one only for those who eschew reading: it is a beautifully wrought work as well. Saldana has already demonstrated his lyrical prose in FINDING OUR WAY and THE JUMPING TREE and in numerous stories in various collections. Saldana manages to write powerfully, to create characters, and to provide a twist on a familiar plot in just a few pages. He enters, tells the story, and leaves the reader to wonder what will happen after his storytelling is done. Alby and Barry have more story left to tell; that is certain.

Thanls to David Gill for sending me the jpeg of the cover. Cool.

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