Solo  -     By: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
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Solo

Blink / 2017 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Solo by Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, is tells the story of 17-year-old Blade Morrison, who is being crushed between the tabloids exposing his former rock-star-father's addition and a protected secret that threatens his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides that the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He sets out on a journey that lands him in Ghana, where he discovers a friendship he couldn't have ever imagined, a people founded in family and community and a reconciliation he never expected. Written in poetic verse, Kwame Alexander explores what it truly means to finally come home. Recommended for ages 13 years and older.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Blink
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 0310761832
ISBN-13: 9780310761839
Ages: 13-16

Publisher's Description

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can’t make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother—who died when Blade was nine—and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own. But, he’s not all alone: He’s got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert; the secret love of a girlfriend, Chapel; and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret—one that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He soon sets out on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true. His quest lands him in Ghana, stuck in a village just shy of where answers to the secret can be found. There, Blade discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, a people founded in family and community, and a reconciliation he never expected.

With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

Solo features a stunning dust jacket with embossing and gloss.

Author Bio

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author of 24 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include HE SAID SHE SAID, a YA novel; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and several picture books, including SURF’S UP, ANIMAL ARK, and OUT OF WONDER. Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his non-fiction debut, THE PLAYBOOK, and his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.

Mary Rand Hess has been writing and editing professionally for over twenty years. She writes everything from poetry, novels, and picture books, to screenplays and teleplays. Her work has been published in several regional, national, and international publications. In addition, she has had the privilege of running an independent publishing company, while working with award-winning, high profile figures in the literary, sports, and entertainment industries. She is the co-author of the picture book, ANIMAL ARK (National Geographic), with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido. She is also the author of THE DAY I MET THE NUTS, and the GABE AND FRIENDS series. Over the years, Mary has been a Stephen Minister, and has taught creative writing, drama, art, and Sunday school. In her spare time, she loves to compose on the piano, listen to copious amounts of music, read, create mixed media art, and spend time with family and friends. She can't imagine a world without stories, poetry, and rock and roll.

Editorial Reviews

Blade Morrison begins his story by disclosing, “I am / the wretched son / of a poor / rich man.” Master storytellers and poets Alexander (The Crossover, 2014) and Hess (The Day I Met the Nuts, 2009) have joined forces to pen a rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll. The only things 17-year-old Blade can count on as the wealthy but neglected son of famously erratic rock god, Rutherford Morrison, are his soulful guitar ballads and his girlfriend, Chapel. When Rutherford disappoints Blade one time too many and they end up fighting, Blade’s sister reveals the family’s secret in a moment of anger: Blade is adopted. Suddenly the music leaves him; when Chapel is no longer there to anchor him either, Blade sets out to meet his birth mother. A mixtape of classic rock hits guides him from Los Angeles all the way to the small village of Konko, Ghana, where a delay getting to the school where his mother works brings him unexpected fulfillment. Scattered throughout the novel-in-verse are some of Blade’s original rock ballads, though every poem feels like a song, pulsing with Alexander’s signature lyrical style. Blade ends up finding much more than what he expects: self-discovery, community and a deeper understanding of what family means. Stared Booklist review for SOLO by Kwama Alexander HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Alexander has a history of appealing to teens of all sorts and a Newbery to his name; don’t expect this collaboration to stay on shelves long. --- Caitlin Kling

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