2019 READERS' FAVORITE GOLD MEDAL
- Non-Fiction, Parenting
"...funny and deeply profound. opens the lid on mental illness, confronting the issues and making them far more accessible." FIVE STARS
2018 INDIE READER DISCOVERY AWARD
- Psychology/Mental Health
"Frank South's memoir about the challenges of struggling with ADHD since his 1950?s childhood is powerful ...this is an important work that teachers, school administrators and social service personnel should read ...South's book is an impressive achievement."
2018 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD Memoirs - Personal Struggle/Health Issues
"South reports his family life with honesty and aplomb... Touching, funny and inspiring, this memoir captures the joys and tensions of living with mental illness."
2018 LIVING NOW AWARD Gold - Inspirational Memoir - Male 2018 HUMAN RELATIONS INDIE BOOK AWARD
Gold - Family Challenges
Silver - Health
Hon. Mention - Relationship
"...the author's retelling of his lifelong struggle with ADHD - and how his disability shaped his life experiences, leading him to countless self-discoveries - is fresh, thoughtful, and compelling.
- The BookLife Prize
"...wonderful, touching, moving, funny... a heartwarming and poignant memoir."
- Official Review, Online Book Club
"...well structured and congenial, re-creating dialogue and everyday family life in a relatable manner. Those with a family history of ADHD should especially enjoy these wry autobiographical writings."
- Kirkus Review, RECOMMEND
In this debut novel, a boy moves with his family from Chicago to the quaint little town of Greenfort, where he begins a journey into a larger and stranger world.
Rafe Rebellius is the son of intrepid parents who've moved with him from state to state, but it's in Greenfort that his destiny starts to truly bloom. He immediately meets a bushy-browed Druid and an attractive, age-appropriate, mechanical-seeming girl named Fem. He runs afoul of bullies, peruses Jack London, and notices that the things he reads truly envelop his life: if it's snowy cold in his book, he breathes out a frosty fog himself. When Rafe's mom and dad rush off on one of their escapades, leaving him alone in Greenfort, he makes new friends, learns more about his own connection to the worlds inside stories, and decides he must help combat the machinations of the gray witch and save his new home ("One part of him wanted to run up and hide in his room. But another part--a big part--couldn't stand the thought of staying out of the fight"). The story brings together characters from fantasy, sci-fi, Westerns, hard-boiled detective tales, and other genres. Without wasting too much verbiage, the volume lets young readers (and mature ones) see the differences between all the styles of popular storytelling and the ways they can clash and harmonize. The book is short, smart, charmingly illustrated, fast-paced, and packed with a great deal of fun... The work doesn't shy away from the harder edges of the various genres but softens them up a little for a YA audience (" 'No way!' said Rafe. 'You were a cop who went to prison for a crime you didn't commit?'...'Not exactly' "). Lowery inserts a bit of rough violence that darkens the narrative, but he gives the episode gravity, and it helps clarify that genuine adventure means real danger. The result is a light confection that celebrates reading, writing, and the daydreaming that comes from books.
A well-written and entertaining fantasy tale about a heroic bookworm.
- Kirkus Reviews
Rafe Rebellius is used to his family moving around, but when they move into a library, it's the weirdest move yet--especially when Rafe has to travel through books in order to save the library from being turned into a Confederate museum. Rafe is an appealing narrator, and the extended cast is delightfully wacky, while the book walking--though the rules are never satisfactorily explained--is sure to charm.
- The BookLife Prize in Fiction
"An original, engaging, magical adventure. A great read-aloud for kids in second or third grade, and a fun read for older kids or more accomplished readers."
- ADDitude Magazine
"South, in his debut, offers a blend of reading instruction and encouragement for young readers, in a fantastical Hawaiian setting. Third-grader Eddie Akamai decides to skip school after he’s assigned to remedial reading classes; he balks at the idea of being put in a classroom with first-graders. He takes out the family boat, and Eddie’s sister Emma and their friend Kim Kokua join him. Eddie manages to pilot the boat through an unexpected storm, and the three kids discover Aloha Island, a magical world where animals talk—one even has a tendency to overuse synonyms—and letters grow like flowers. The island’s human residents, Aunty Pono and Uncle Aka, convince the children to help them save the island from the threat of Ignorance, which has already trapped neighboring Mele Island in darkness. A band of talking animals joins the children in their effort, with occasional assistance from a tricky creature from Hawaiian mythology called a menhune, and a lei made of letters instead of flowers. The Flaming Illiterates, a trio of animals with less noble motives, do their best to subvert the kids’ mission, and they prove particularly adept at using Eddie’s insecurities against him. Throughout the book, the children face challenges involving phonics, wordplay and literacy. The story’s many surprises should appeal to in reluctant readers, and the short chapters are likely to sustain kids’ interest. The author keeps the phonics lessons and the pro-literacy message from overwhelming the story itself. Although the pronunciation guides and definitions of Hawaiian terms may seem excessive at times, they provide necessary background about what may be an unfamiliar culture for many readers. A fast-paced educational adventure story. - Kirkus Reviews