Synopses & Reviews
When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Sharon M. Draper has interwoven characters and events from her previous novel, Tears of a Tiger, in this unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.
“As compelling a novel as any published in the last two decades. Buy it, read it, share it.” < -="" i="" -=""> - VOYA - < -="" -="">
“Short chapters and alternating viewpoints provide raw energy and intense emotion." < -="" i="" -=""> - Publisher's Weekly - < -="" -="">
“The characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a lasting impression.” < -="" i="" -=""> - SLJ - < -="" -="">
In one horrifying night,
Andy's life changed forever...
Andy Jackson was driving the car that crashed one night after a game, killing Robert Washington, his best friend and the captain of the Hazelwood High Tigers. It was late, and they'd been drinking, and now, months later, Andy can't stop blaming himself. As he turns away from family, friends, and even his girlfriend, he finds he's losing the most precious thing of all -- his ability to face the future.
With perceptiveness and compassion, Draper portrays an African-American teenager who feels driven to consider suicide in the wake of a devastating tragedy.
About the Author
Sharon M. Draper is a andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both andlt;iandgt;Copper Sunandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;Forged by Fireandlt;/iandgt;. Her andlt;iandgt;Out of My Mindandlt;/iandgt; has won multiple awards and has been a andlt;iandgt;New York Times andlt;/iandgt;bestseller for well over a year. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.