UPDATE: If you’re in the Houston area, Mark Dostert will be at Brazos Bookstore on September 5th. Click here for more information.
I have the privilege of knowing two debut authors, one a current co-worker and the other a former co-worker, both excellent English teachers. The first is Jennifer Mathieu, whose young adult novel,The Truth About Alice, was released on June 3. I’m not much into young adult, especially when it centers around teens, but this one was a powerful read about “slut shaming.” I was on the periphery in high school, always watching from a distance, so I’m fairly uninformed about the goings on in the lives of the high school “in-crowd.” The Truth About Alice was equal parts enlightening, scary, and heartbreaking. It was accentuated by the fact that I have a teenage daughter who will be in high school next year. Now I kind of want to home school (not really).
The second debut author is Mark Dostert, whose Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago’s Other Side will be released on September 1st,.
Here’s an interview and excerpt:
I’ve read portions of Up in Here and was riveted. As little as I know about teen high school drama, I know even less about Chicago and the unbearably difficult lives of so many kids growing up on its street. Every time I see a news story about some atrocious thing a kid has done, it’s easy to paint them in broad, stereotypical strokes, but Dostert demonstrates that it’s far more complex than my cushy, white middle-class mind was aware of. He speaks with authority and compassion and I look forward to reading the whole book when it’s released. I hope you’ll give it a look, too.