“Call Me By My Name” by John Ed Bradley. Atheneum, 2014. $17.99.
Former LSU Tiger John Ed Bradley, author of “It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium: Football and the Game of Life,” tackles the young adult market with a book that tackles a thorny issue: race.
Naturally, Bradley wraps it in things he knows best — football and south Louisiana. Rodney and Angie Boulet are twins in a small south Louisiana town during the painful years of school integration. The pair befriends the athletically talented black boy, Tater Henry, and the trio grows up and closer together, especially Angie and Tater.
Rodney, our protagonist, is left to deal with his own conflicted feelings about Tater and, specifically, Tater and his sister before a heartbreaking ending forces his hand.
Bradley’s writing, as his memoir showed, is more than capable of efficiently conveying intense emotion, which propels the reader over some of the difficult territory “Call Me By My Name” covers. A good read — and starting point for discussion — for young adult readers.
— Beth Colvin, email@example.com
“The Iron Road. An Illustrated History of the Railroad” by Christian Wolmar. DK Publishing, 2014. $30.
This is an amazing reference and history book about the evolution of railroads. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs, line drawings, diagrams and maps. Wolmar traces the history of railroad from the origins in 19th-century Britain and America to their expansion worldwide.
The book also discusses how railroads improved over years, the difficulties in expansion of the rails all over the world and how railroads impacted many different countries’ economic growth and inspired other inventions.
The history of the railroad is given in great detail. The photographs and illustrations make the reader truly see the railroad develop over time. If you enjoy riding the rails, watching trains, or are a railroad enthusiast in any way, this is a great book for you. It’s informative, thoughtful and well-organized.
— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs
“Abducted by a Prince” by Olivia Drake. St. Martin’s, 2014. $7.99.
Ellie Stratham lives as little more than a servant due to her father’s gambling debt. She gave up dreams of love long ago and now focuses on creating a storybook that will hopefully pay for her to move out on her own where she can work in peace. But until she can finish her story she is stuck working for her cousin, Beatrice, who is about to have her season.
Damien Burke’s main goal in life is to get a key that was stolen from him by Beatrice’s brother. Thinking he’s kidnapping Beatrice, Damien mistakenly kidnaps Ellie instead and takes her to an island where they are trapped for quite a few days. They’re both faced with their dreams being destroyed due to this mistake.
How will they come up with a solution that will give them their lives back, and will it bring them closer than they ever thought possible?
This is a cute story that makes the reader feel like they’re living in a fairy tale. There are a few parts of the story that seem to just repeat themselves to drag the story out a little longer, but overall it’s a pleasant historical romance.
The first two books in the series don’t need to be read in order to make sense of the story. If the first two books have been read, this book adds a little more depth to the Cinderella theme that has been connecting them.
— Juliette Brandt, Baton Rouge