GONE AND BACK AGAIN
novel: written by J Scott Fuqua
It is 1978, and Caley's family is reconfigured by divorce; a situation exacerbated by his father's strange personality disorder as well as his mother's series of bad decisions resulting in a string of moves that eventually lands them halfway across the country.
Gone and Back Again, is Caley's comical, sad descent into darkness, mild insanity, and way too much free food. Regardless, he never loses his keen eye for detail, irony, and conflict even as he begins blaming his situation on old Star Trek episodes, his glowing alarm clock, and John Belushi's cynical behavior on Saturday Night Live.
Caley's narrative picks up after his family, consisting of his mother, his step-father, his older brother, and his little sister has just arrived in Naples, Florida, the endpoint to an emotional roller coaster ride that has left him with the sensation that his whole family was "at the bottom of something that was really deep and impossible to get out from."
Based loosely on the author's own strange childhood (proving that truth is stranger than ficition), Gone and Back Again is an account of an adolescent's comical tumble into severe depression and his slow, amusing rise out of it. Against all odds Caley goes away and comes back again, a journey that makes for a touching and offbeat read.
KING OF THE PYGMIES
novel: J Scott Fuqua
Havre-de-Grace, Maryland isn't the kind of place where miracles happen. It's seen better days. That's why when fifteen-year-old Penn starts to hear voices, he is terrified. Further, these aren't just any voices, many are the thoughts of people close to him. He can hear his parents' unspoken marital issues, his retarded brother's silent anxieties, and a neighbor's descent into quiet desperation. And he can hear his girlfriend's tentative feelings of tenderness. His momma wants him to go to a psychiatrist to get examined for schizophrenia or some other related mental illness, but his similarly gifted Uncle Hewitt, a former police chief turned town drunk, tells him the truth as he knows it: Penn's ability to hear other people's thoughts and take away their pain doesn't make him sick. It makes him special. King of the Pygmies is the story of a young man's struggle to come to terms with a terrifying illness, and seeks to provide insight, hope, courage, and empathy between the reader and the characters in the book. All the while, it's a fantastical mystery framed in an insightful, humorous, and poignant story. King of the Pygmies will entertain and compel conversation. What is psychosis? How does desperation drive the desperate? How do those individuals suffering onset mental illness perceive their situation? And what happens to a family in crisis? King of the Pygmies, bustling with unique characters, an off-beat story, and a distinctive geographical setting, is a novel of courage, determination, and hope.
IN THE SHADOW OF EDGAR ALLAN POE
graphic novel: photographically illustrated by Steven Parke
When Sterling Tuttle discovers Poe's alleged secret diary, the Poe scholar suddenly begins to wonder if the writer's work was actually influenced by supernatural demons instead of psychological ones. In his macabre journal that recounts his tortured life, the enigmatic Poe describes creatures from another dimension that he fears have granted him his abilities for their own cruel reasons. Delving deeper into this supernatural mystery, Tuttle, who at first believes Poe's rants the creations of a psychotic mind, begins to wonder if his demons truly existed. In the end, the reader must decide.
novel: J Scott Fuqua
Darby Carmichael thinks her best friend is probably the smartest person she knows, even though, as Mama says, Evette's school uses worn-out books and crumbly chalk. Whenever they can, Darby and Evette shoot off into the woods beyond the farm to play at being fancy ladies and schoolteachers. One thing Darby has never dreamed of being - not until Evette suggests it - is a newspaper girl who writes down the truth for all to read. In no time, and with more than a little assistance from Evette, Darby and her column in the Bennettsville Times are famous in town and beyond. But is Marlboro County, South Carolina, circa 1926, ready for the racial firestorm its youngest reporter unintentionally creates?
AWARDS & NOTICES
·Recommended read on the Today Show, summer 2002
·Book Sense Top Five, summer 2002
·Girl's Life Magazine Top Ten, summer 2002
·Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner, 2002
·Zinger's Booklist for Best of 2002 Intermediate Grades
·Baltimore Magazine, Best of Baltimore Award, 2002
·Library Talk starred review 2002
·PBS, Teachersource Recommended Book
·2003 Notable Social Studies Book for Young People
·International Reading Association Award Notable Book, 2003
·Read Across America Selection
·Children's Literature Choice List, 2003
·Governor Hodges's 2002-2003 Middle School Reading Challenge selection (South Carolina)
·Alberta (Canada) Human Rights Citizenship Commission bibliography selection, "Exploring Human Rights with Children and Teens"
·William Allen White Children's Book Award Master List, 2004-2005, winner to be announced
·Mark Twain Award Finalist, 2004-2005, winner to be announced
·Chinaberry Catalogue Selection, Winter 2004
·Brodart's TOP Young Adult Titles
·Joan Sugarman Award honorable mention, one of four best children's books in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, 2003-04
·Iowa's Children's Choice Award Finalist, 2005-2006, winner to be announced
"King of the Pygmies" never falters in its commitment to Penn's voice and story. It doesn't settle easily on the side of magic or of medicine, suggesting instead that the world may be more complicated, more terrible and beautiful and unnerving than we could ever believe. ...high and true art."
The Boston Globe
A Junior Library Guild Selection 2005-2006
An Ingram Collection Suggestion, 2005
Teen Reads November Selection, 2005
Nominated for the American Library Associations Best Young Adult Book of the Year, 2006
"Wonderfully inventive and evocative."
- Frank Darabont, director, screenwriter, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile
AWARDS AND NOTICES
·YALSA popular paperbacks for young adults, 2005 nominee
·Nominated for The Comic Buyers Guide's "Favorite Original Graphic Novel"
THE REAPPEARANCE OF SAM WEBBER
novel: J Scott Fuqua
Evoking a child's struggle to triumph over fear and despair, The Reappearance of Sam Webber explores the complex issues of race and class in the "fading light" of Baltimore. This debut novel will strike a powerful chord. The protagonist, eleven-year-old Sam Webber, has been called "Little Sam" his whole life, but Big Sam has disappeared, perhaps for good. Without his dad, Little Sam is just plain "Samuel" - and lonely. When he and his mom have to move from their comfortable Baltimore home to a rough inner-city neighborhood, he has plenty to be afraid of: the depression that seems to be engulfing his mother, the taunts of the middle school bully, his own grief, and bouts of nausea and hyperventilation. But when Greely, the janitor at his school, strikes up an unlikely friendship, Sam begins to see his life - like the varied rowhouses of his new neighborhood - in a gentler light. Will a surer, stronger Sam Webber emerge from the shadows?
"The Reappearance of Sam Webber tells a human truth that hope and awareness of what we have will overcome much of life's grief. Out of sad and dark materials, Fuqua delivers a heartwarming and readable story."
- San Antonio (TX) Express News
AWARDS & NOTICES
·Alex Award, presented by Booklist Magazine and American Library Association for Best Ten Adult Books of the Year for Teenagers, 2000
·New York Public Library, Best Books for the Teen Age, 2000
·American Booksellers Association for Free Expression, one of two novels selected as best works dealing with issues of teen violence
·School Library Journal, Top Five Books for Teenagers, 1999
·Library Journal, Best Book Selection, 1999
·Booklist Magazine, Editor's Choice, 1999
·A Teen People Magazine Book of the Month Club selection
·Peoria (Illinois) Reads, One City One Book selection, 2003
·British Book Choice for post-primary schools
CATIE & JOSEPHINE
graphic novel: written by J Scott Fuqua, photographically Illustrated by Steven Parke
Catie Calloway's family has moved a lot, which is rough on an only child. When Catie arrives in another new school, she is glad to meet Josephine, a girl who appears in the big old house that is her family's new home. It's been ages since either girl has had a friend. Instantly inseparable, the girls share their very different worlds; and, though they are no longer lonely, they soon discover their lives are not without problems. Catie and Josephine is a story about the power of friendship and the creative things friends sometimes have to do to stay together, especially when one is invisible to grownups and a bit stuck in her old fashioned ways.
“… the richly detailed and historically precise watercolors by Fuqua bring the story to life. While the book is recommended for children ages 4 to 10, I think adults will enjoy the illustrations, which include construction views in the style of the great architectural illustrator David Macaulay.”
THE SYNAGOGUE SPEAKS
written by Anita Kassoff, illustrated by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
The Lloyd Street Synagogue rose, brick by brick, stone by stone, in 1845. For many years, families gathered there to pray and sing, listen and learn, and the elegant little building on Lloyd Street was filled with happiness. But one by one, the families moved away, until the building sat silent and empty.
What would happen to the Lloyd Street Synagogue? Jonathan Scott Fuqua’s vivid watercolors enliven this tale of hope and change. Told from the building’s perspective, The Synagogue Speaks traces the true history of the Lloyd Street Synagogue’s remarkable transformation from synagogue to church back to synagogue again.
The believable dialogue and cool photographs make this strange and suspenseful book really come alive.
- The Washington Post
AWARDS & NOTICES
·Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles
·Washington PostBook of the Week
·Planetesme's Don't Miss List, 2003
DEFINING MIDDLE GROUND
non-fiction design: written and illustrated by J Scott Fuqua and Paul P Voos
Defining Middle Ground is a beautifully readable visual essay about the history and diversity of the ""middle garden', the area that surrounds a home and extends out to the public realm, such as the sidewalk, alley, or street. It examines the vital nature of this space and how its purpose, since Mesopotamia, has always been more than mere decoration.
Defining Middle Ground received very little notice in the popular press for it’s somewhat eccentric subject matter (the front yard), but the schools and landscape architecture programs that use it consider the small book eminently readable and compelling.