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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review: A Warrior's Soul

A Warrior's Soul

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Bullying is a real-life situation that MANY of our children are dealing with.  SR Staley has taken this problem and put bullying victims feelings into words.  As adults we need to make sure we are paying attention to our children and taking their concerns seriously.  This story has taught me to pay very close attention to my children's actions to be sure that when they voice a concern it is taken seriously and that I assist them in finding a resolution to their problem.  We can't assume that a school or anyone else is taking care of our children.  Bullying does exist and while we need to protect our children, we also need to be sure that our children are not the bullies.  I would recommend this book to any pre-teen/teen boy or girl.  It shows them what bullied children are going through, and positive ways to resolve the situation.  It is also a good conversation starter to talk to your children about bullying.  We have to get away from the "that wouldn't happen here" frame of mind.

About the Book:

We find Luke cowering behind a crumbling wall in an alley in the beginning of A Warrior's Soul.  Luke and his friends are being bullied by Dirk and his Goon Squad. After witnessing his friend Jimmy be hospitalized due to Dirk's bullying, he is feeling the guilt of not standing up to Dirk and standing up for his friend. 

With a school in denial and his parents in denial there is only one thing Luke can turn to, his martial arts.  The other thing, or should I say person, that lifts Luke's spirits is Lucy. 

After taking a good beating from Dirk and the Good Squad, and Luke being considered "at fault" for his beating, Luke considers running away.  With Dad out of town, and Mom in denial of the bullying and gangs at school, Luke doesn't know what else to do.  Just then Peter, the dojo owner, comes back into Luke's life.  Chuck, Luke's friend and bullying victim, obtains a gun.  Luke introduces his friends to Peter, and they begin to learn how to defend themselves.

More About Sam Staley
(taken from www.srstaley.com)

Tallahassee-based novelist Sam “SR” Staley (www.srstaley.com) takes readers from the sweltering jungles of eighteenth century Caribbean islands to the brutal concrete playgrounds of inner-city gangs in books recognized for their realism, action and layered characters. He draws on his extensive experience as an urban policy analyst and researcher as well as international travel where he has visited dozens of cities and countries throughout North America, Central America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. In fact, he has visited China alone more than 20 times.
His first young-adult novel, The Pirate of Panther Bay (www.pantherbay.com), has been praised by reviwers as "swashbucklng tale of piracy, action, and romance" (AllBooksReview" and "a grand high seas adventure" (youngadult romancewriters.com.) John Lehman, for publisher of Rosebud literary magazine, note Sam "puts plenty of zip into the action sequences" at BookReview.com and “masterfully captures a sword fight, building tension it seems hard to believe possible short of seeing it on a huge movie screen.” His second novel, A Warrior’s Soul, is “highly recommended” (Midwest Book Review), a “gritty and gripping story” (Stephen K. Hayes). One reviewer cited Staley’s “powerful” writing for its ability to “transport her” and “surprise me the whole way through” (bookreviewvenue.com). Sam's third novel, Renegade, is expected to appear in the fall 2012.
Sam’s young-adult novels feature strong characters who are strong individualists who take responsibility for their actions in dilemmas common to today’s teens. His characters do not shy away from the sometimes tragic consequences of some of those decisions, and he uses the story to explore values and fears embedded in the everyday life of contemporary teens.
His articles have appeared in a wide range of professional and popular publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Reason magazine. His recreational hobbies include running, sprint triathlons, alpine skiing, and snowboarding. He trains in To-Shin Do, a Western version of the ancient Japanese martial art of Ninjutsu, at the Dayton Quest Center for the Study of Martial Arts.
His full-time gig is with Florida State University where he is the Managing Director of the DeVoe Moore Center at Florida State University and teach undergraduate and graduate courses on housing economics, local regulation, economic development, and urban planning. Prior to joining FSU, Sam with the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation (you can also read his full CV here).

Sam is an active member of the
Tallahassee Writers Association as well as the Florida Writers Association. He received a B.A. from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, an M.S. from Wright State University, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He also dropped by George Mason University for a few years where he was a Bradley Fellow in the Center for the Study of Public Choice.

Feel free to
contact Sam directly if you want more information about him at sam@srstaley.com or pantherbay@aol.com.

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