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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Never in his wildest dreams could he imagine his best day turning into his worst. Chad and Marcus ruled the school. Smart. Athletic. Popular. A looming wrestle off for their weight class made Chad jumpy. Marcus told him to chill. But with one slam to the mat, Marcus would be dead. Hard-hitting, contemporary young adult fiction is not trendy--it's not dystopia. There are no vampires, no werewolves, no castles. It's real life. It's unflinching. Gravel Road highlights the talent of YA authors committed to creating realistic fiction with emotional authenticity. No topic is off-limits: suicide, homosexuality, drugs, rape, gangs, bullying. Teens live with this reality each day. And they find a way to survive. Each book is 200 to 275 pages.
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Gr 7 Up—Everything is going right for wrestling teammates and best friends Chad and Marcus. It's the first day of senior year and they plan to make it spectacular. But Coach wants to trim the team this year and forces the friends to have a wrestling match for their position. As they face off, each gives it his all to win the spot, sharing the upper hand, back and forth. But Chad is determined to keep his weight class and with a final surge of energy, slams Marcus to the mat to win the match. As Marcus gets up to congratulate him, he suddenly falls back to the mat, dead. Chad is devastated and blames himself for his Marcus's demise. As his dreams for a spectacular senior year fade, Chad struggles with school, his girlfriend, his other teammates, and eventually, the law, as he copes with the death of his best friend. This latest addition to this realistic teen fiction series provides a journey of loss, escape, and eventual acceptance. The protagonist's journey of denial, self-blame, and search for release from his pain will resonate with those who are facing profound loss. As Chad falls deeper and deeper into personally destructive behavior, it is only with the help of caring adults and a professional support group that he can begin to rebuild his future. This compelling narrative with realistic characters and high-interest pacing will enlighten without a trace of preachiness or pretentiousness. VERDICT Sure to find an audience with teens, this title is highly recommended for hi-lo collections.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
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Book Description Turtleback Books, 2015. Library Binding. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110606368361