For Lynn English High School students who have read and enjoyed Offside this summer—and really for all potential readers—let me suggest that you also try Cracking the Ice, my other Young Adult novel. It’s also set in the late sixties with some of the action taking place in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Cracking the Ice is Jessie Stackhouse’s story, taking place a year after Offside. He leaves home to attend an elite, formerly all-white prep school so he can chase his dream of becoming the second black professional hockey player. He soon finds, however, that the coach doesn’t want him there and neither do most of his teammates. They’ll go to almost any extreme to make him leave. Jessie must overcome not only the team in the other locker room, but the even more dangerous one in his own.
I think you’ll like it. Order it for your e-book reader or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a special price on the paper version.
“I started Cracking the Ice and could not put it down. Jessie Stackhouse’s generosity, hope and intelligence touched my heart…I kept reading until the last page!” –Joyce Carol Thomas, National Book Award winner
Lynn English High School (Lynn, Massachusetts) has adopted my novel Offside for its entire student body and staff to read this summer. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. It’s especially gratifying because it all started with positive word of mouth.
It certainly didn’t hurt that I’m an alum and most of the book takes place in Lynn and in the hallways of that school, but ultimately the book’s qualities, applicable anywhere, made it the ideal choice.
“This coming-of-age tale of a young country boy from Maine who must adapt to a new life in the city is a perfect choice for the students of Lynn English High School,” said Anastasia Mower, the chair of the English Language Arts department. “It was a perfect match for high school students of all reading abilities. The quick pace of the story keeps the reader springing after “Rabbit” Labelle as he encounters all kinds of people in his new environment. Especially meaningful to us as a school are the book’s themes of bullying, alienation, friendship, and family, as these will offer much to talk about in discussion groups in the fall. We are excited for our students to connect with “Rabbit” and to join him as he learns about compassion and friendship in his new surroundings.”