We hope to have the author do a presentation on this fascinating book here at the shop perhaps in the fall. One of the big take-aways, by the way, is that Wilberforce not only was an evangelical Christian with historically sound doctrine, but he had community; friends.
Jefferson had a less than orthodox faith and, frankly, few true and lasting friends. This is a study that breaks new ground, a great book for anyone interested in history, in faith-based social action, or in leadership. Get for yourself or or give the book to someone soon. This tells of a solid Christian fellow discipling a messed up, druggie, ex-con. This is story which is ore profound perhaps even than it wants to be. Kluck is a good writer whose stuff has been seen in the ESPN magazine.
D and the Spitfire really is a wild tale, profoundly informed by good theology, and a true love for that old Triumph Spitfire. Here, he uses his notable skills and brilliant mind to come up with a book that is genius—well written and creatively conceived, about hope. It is a beautiful, good piece of work.
It overflows with wisdom and information about the very thing that makes us human, our search for meaning in the universe. Do you have a somewhat inquisitive, educated, thoughtful dad? Skeptic or disciple, as Eric notes, this is really a great book to give. Each chapter starts with a short report of a person or episode, and from there wonderfully ruminates and explores and teaches, offering authentic, serious, solid, hope.
In a nutshell, the context of his book is that the iY generation kids raised in a world of the internet and ipods and the Homelanders those born after have been exposed to more information than any generation heretofore, but have not necessarily been able to process the information coherently. What do you do with what we know?
How do we impart wisdom so that the highly-informed can handle living in such a hot-wired world?
I think Artificial Maturity is a very interesting book, important for teachers, youth workers, and, of course, parents. The pictures are beautifully printed, includes folks of various races thank you, Tyndale! Know any young men verging on authentic manhood? New dads? Dungy fans? Guys graduating for whom you need a little gift? This could be given to your dad, or, if you are a dad, you could give it to your son.
By the way, might I say just a word about race, here? Above, I just applauded the artful, multi-cultural pictures in this book. I said that, well, because it does show a diverse range of men, but also because there is an African American man and his boy on the cover.
Does this mean that the book is only for black guys? I know most BookNotes readers are not so stunted in imagination, but I want to put it here in black and white: people of color buy books with white folks on the covers all the time. So there ya go. Buy the book, no matter what your skin tone. In fact, women are allowed to buy it too, and give it to a guy they love. But be warned, there is an even more radical diversity in here: there are pictures of tough jocks and firefighters and mountain climbers, and there are photos of musicians and men playing with kids. Three cheers!
This is a wonderful set of letters back and forth between the famous, funny evangelist and his honest, radical son. There are two very dynamic men and their inspiring conversations make fabulous reading. And every year as you progressively go on, you have a clearer picture of what has happened in the past. I spend a couple of months just imagining my story and doing the research of the story, just pulling together what is going to be in the story or the pool of information that might be in the story.
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Then I start to write a lot of scenes and dialogue and then I stop doing that and I write a draft. After I write that draft, I write another and yet another and yet another. The first one I am dealing with the very big issues of what is going to be in the story and what is going to be thrown out.
These days a good deal of research goes into my work and so it might even be things that I will not even use or go into detail with the story, but it helps me to really feel the weight of the things that the characters wrestle with. For example, in the third book of One Crazy Summer series, which is Gone Crazy in Alabama , one of the characters milks a cow. So just the whole learning how to milk, how to approach the cow and just all of those different things I learned so much.
But and even though, trust me, only maybe a tenth of it went into the story, I had to know it in order to get to that one tenth and to do it right. So research, it really does count. So, my most recent novel, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground is about a boy who plays the blues harmonica with his grandfather. What do I know about the harmonica, let alone the blues harmonica? So I had to get a harmonica and take lessons and start to learn, at least just learn the fundamentals and listen to a lot of harmonica playing. What is it about writing that makes you want to just do something over and over and over again until you get it right?
Well, eventually you meet your readers. And you know when you have done a good job or when you have left something undone because there is nothing like a child audience, a child reader. They will hold your feet to the fire and ask you why did you let this happen, you know, or if heaven forbid if you make a mistake that got by editing or what have you and they know about it because they will tell you. But I think for the most part for me the most satisfying part of having written a novel and knowing that people are reading it is when people connect and they let you know in ways that really just blow your own mind.
After the program is over, you give your presentation and you answer questions. But, you know, she had to linger behind and she said she read One Crazy Summer and during that time, you know, her father had been away and she had not met him. And so all of a sudden she heard that she was going to meet her father. And so she thought that the book brought her father to her just like the story brought Delphine and her sisters to finally meet their mother.
So she was identifying with the story and just the whole magic of storytelling, that it could have something to do with her life.
So, with topics like teen pregnancy, female genital mutilation and what have you, why write for young people, why not write for adults? I have had this done to me. And you have to come to my school to talk about it. And so the teacher invited me.
I came and I spoke and we shared the book. And so I thought that this would be a session where the girl would talk, and she did talk, and that girls would talk, but it was — it really surprised me that it was the young men in the classroom who really spoke on behalf of FGM, female genital mutilation. It just really amazed me.
I assume you don't have kids. Across the entire world, there's not a place where people openly talk about it and I'm sick of it. Last week we spoke with Damien Echols who was incarcerated on death row for more than 18 years for murders that he did not commit. I find beauty in so many things She is making a fool out of you and if that is ok with you, you are in as great a need of the therapist's couch as she is. Nothing, who is the 'Gold Star For Trying' of which you speak? Julian says:.
With such maturity. These were eighth-grade boys and they talked about — one boy was from Yemen and he talked about how his family as now in this country because the family did not want their sisters to undergo that. So, you know, young people are aware of things.
And if you give them the language to talk about things in mature ways, they can do it. They can do it. We have to trust them. I used to not know what real writers did and now that I know, gee like my life will never be the same. There is so much. You want to answer all your emails. You want to make sure you have a presence on social media.
And so, you know, just trying to have that balance and do all of those things because this is writing in the 21 st century and you do have to let your readers know that you are there. You still write. Thank goodness for that time to get back to rewriting it to kind of figuring out what really is the story and to making it better and to, you know, making it that book that someone can read and will want to read.
Oh, the misconceptions people have about writing. I mean those are some of the really good stuff. And also I want to encourage young people to imagine, you know, to really just go as far as they can go and not feel that you have to mine your own story. You can make it up. I do it all the time. How do you become 14 again and write from that point of view without kind of winking or betraying that year-old with your cynicism or your whatever you have, your experience?
It changes too fast. And I think once I begin to like something in that young character or not like something in that character, then I have something that I can hold onto and that can help pull me through. I think there is something in me that has not quite grown up yet that is still looking out at the world waiting for something to happen. I do look up. I do look at things. I think that I can be delighted and surprised and intrigued by things and I am not afraid to show it.
Be silly and enjoy. Ever since I was a kid in a playpen, I just wanted to tell a story. And I still feel that way. But, you know.
So I think just being my natural self and writing these stories and, you know, maybe opening possibility to so many kids. If a teenager said that they were very much interested in writing and if I had advice, I would say do what you are doing right now. I suspect you are reading.