Great Kirkus Review of DEACON LOCKE

Posted on Wednesday, 1st March, 2017

DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM
Author: Brian Katcher
Deacon’s decision to take his grandmother to his senior prom results in unexpected fame.Since his father abandoned him at 16, Deacon’s caretaker grandmother, Jean, has become his best friend. So when Deacon finds the required elaborate “promposals” too intimidating and realizes Jean missed her own prom, he invites her instead. Jean’s insistence on dance lessons is a ploy to set Deacon up with the instructor, Soraya, a young woman with “a medium complexion” whom the white boy describes as “standing out from the typical pasty-faced Arkansan.” Soraya’s a senior at the local Islamic school, which she attends to honor her Lebanese heritage. Though romance slowly develops, Deacon still takes spunky Jean to the dance. Soon a video of their dancing goes viral. Deacon gets mostly positive social media feedback, but the attention also strains his relationship with Soraya, who becomes the target of some racially charged online bullying. The complications come thick and fast, but they wrap up extraordinarily quickly in the last 25 pages, as Deacon finds his way back to the people who matter most to him. Deacon’s present-tense narration reveals a kind and likable protagonist. A sweet though sometimes obvious lesson on staying true to oneself. (Fiction. 12-16)

ANA AND ZAK in German!

Posted on Monday, 23rd January, 2017

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Available in February! Thanks Julia Malik and DTV Publishing!

School Library Journal review of DEACON LOCKE

Posted on Saturday, 21st January, 2017

DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM | Brian Katcher

Gr 8 Up–When Deacon Locke can’t find a date for the senior prom, he decides to invite his grandmother Jean, who missed her own prom because her date (Deacon’s grandfather) was serving in the Vietnam War. Deacon has never been able to depend on his fly-by-night father, and his mother isn’t in the picture: Jean, with whom he has been living for the past two years, has been the sole rock in his life. When a video of the unlikely couple dancing at the prom goes viral, awkward, loner Deacon experiences his first taste of popularity. As he looks toward the future, he grapples with his newfound celebrity; pursues a relationship with his dance instructor, Soraya; and realizes that Jean may be dealing with dementia. While Deacon occasionally comes off as insensitive when it comes to race and gender (“The non-politically-correct part of my mind wonders if [Soraya] has an exotic accent”), he grows and develops as he learns of the bigotry that Soraya, who is Muslim, has confronted. The plot is somewhat predictable in places (Soraya and Deacon’s relationship is temporarily derailed when another suitor asks Soraya out right before Deacon can), and characterizations are a little thin. However, Deacon’s wryly self-deprecating voice will resonate with readers, and Katcher’s commentary on Internet fame rings true. Teens will enjoy this light but touching tale of maturation. VERDICT Those seeking coming-of-age stories with a bit of romance will be pleased with this quick, heartfelt read.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

ANA AND ZAK nominated for the Missouri Gateway Award!

Posted on Monday, 12th December, 2016

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Thanks to everyone who made that happen!

MSTA Book List

Posted on Thursday, 10th November, 2016

Follow this link!

DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM

Posted on Tuesday, 11th October, 2016

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My next book, May 2017!

Fierce Reads Tour

Posted on Sunday, 2nd October, 2016

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Come meet these talented authors at the Spencer Road Library, October 7th, at 7:00 PM. Come at 6:00 and you can watch me interview them!

Almost Perfect Makes List of Challenged Books

Posted on Wednesday, 28th September, 2016

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According to this article in School Library Journal, ALMOST PERFECT was challenged by a parent who submitted a whopping twenty pages of notes as to why it should be removed from the school library.

ANA AND ZAK now available in paperback

Posted on Monday, 26th September, 2016

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Title kind of says it all. Buy now, before the Christmas rush.

Total Lit Parties: ANA AND ZAK

Posted on Monday, 5th September, 2016

Totally Lit Parties: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

Check out FYA’s ANA AND ZAK themed ideas for a party!