Boys of Blur

boys of blurWritten by N.D. Wilson

Taper, Florida is a town filled with history and muck, sugar cane fields and football fields. It is the home town of both Charlie’s stepfather and his estranged and abusive biological father, but Charlie is there for the first time in his life to attend the funeral of the legendary high school football coach with his stepfather. He is a little bit afraid to run across his biological father. Instead, with his newfound cousin Cotton, he runs into something far worse, an ancient evil that has been festering in the stanky swamps and threatens to take over the whole town.

Equal parts realistic relationship-based fiction, football poetry, and horrific swamp zombie-hunting mayhem, this book has hooks to spare for all sorts of potential readers. As the blurbs say it does indeed follow in the great footsteps of Holes and Jerry Spinelli titles, but Wilson ups the horror factor quite a bit. The writing is beautiful and the characters are extremely real. This book gets extra points on the #WeNeedDiverseBooks front for departing from the common trope of the cartoonishly terrible step-parent by displaying a strong, positive, yet complicated and completely realistic interracial relationship between a boy and his stepfather. So many kids have to navigate relationships with both biological and step parents in real life, and it is modeled well here. It also gets extra literary points for incorporating elements of the ancient epic poem Beowulf of all things, while still remaining a quick, engaging read. Highly recommended for all reasons stated.

Review by Joshua Whiting, Librarian, Granite School District
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

Boys of Blur
Written by N.D. Wilson
Random House
195 pages
Release Date: April 8,2014
ISBN: 9780449816738 (hardcover)

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