“The stars and black sky closed over me. I was not Pip with the hope of great expectations, just an eighth-grader looking for a lucky break.”
Roland Tanner is looking for a benefactor, someone to rescue him from his family, the sorriest characters he’s ever met: a sister who works at the Curl Up and Dye salon, a brother who takes motors apart in their front yard, a grandmother who flashes him the evil eye from her ragged vinyl armchair, and a father who keeps him at arm’s length. Tested as gifted, Roland gets bused from his poor, rural home to the middle school in town, where his new classmates only see him as a hillbilly.
He is desperate to reach out beyond the power lines that crisscross the hills surrounding the family’s trailer in southeastern Ohio. Yet he’s afraid to step outside of himself to ask Patty to the dance, to stand up for his Muslim friend Hassan, to see that his father loves him. It’s only when he realizes he’s in charge of his destiny that Roland accepts the cloud of witnesses—the saints and sinners all around him—that his future is whatever he makes it.
Age range: 10-13
Grade level: 5-8
Fall 2018 publication | $8.99
ISBN 978-1-7320276-2-6 print
ISBN 978-1-7320276-3-3 ebook