Friday, May 27, 2011
Stay With Me by Paul Griffin
Stay With Me, the newest book from popular Passages Academy visiting author Paul Griffin due to be released this fall, follows the intense but brief relationship between two teens, Mack and Cece. At fifteen, Mack is a HS dropout and a struggling reader with a violent criminal past. But we learn of his nurturing side through his connection with abandoned pitbulls, and his innate ability to train them into loving house pets. Mack shares this gift with Cece, who overcomes her fear of dogs and falls in love with Mack while studying for an upcoming Gifted and Talented test. The two meet at Vic Too's, the restaurant where they work with Cece's mother, brother, and best friend. But when Mack loses control and lets his anger take over, the two are forced to say goodbye forever. This moving and gripping book will appeal to students requesting a love story, as well as those looking for characters that they can easily relate to.
Mack and Cece are torn apart when Mack begins a long period of incarceration at Rikers. Adult readers in facilities may spring into a censorship stance when they read the ways characters bring creativity to bear on using the materials at hand to circumvent security, but young readers won't find any new ideas they haven't heard already. Most importantly, many will be able to connect with the stressful high-stakes atmosphere of the prison.
Besides sharing this exciting new book with you, I am also very excited to share the following excerpts:
From the Dedication
“...for Juan G., who dreams of happy endings.” Juan was a Passages Academy @ Crossroads student whom Paul met during a visit in 2009. He expressed his hope for a happier ending to “Ten Mile River,” and then offered how he would have ended the novel.
From the Acknowledgements
"Thank you to the librarians, teachers, booksellers, and literacy and human rights advocates that have given me opportunities to connect with their students and readers...Anne Lotito Schuh and the Crossroads family, Jessica, Ma'lis and Literacy For Incarcerated Teens..."
I feel comfortable speaking for the Passages family when I say that we wish we could so publicly acknowledge Paul Griffin for his selflessness of time and spirit when it comes to giving to our students. A day when Paul visits is an uplifting day for students and staff alike.--Anne Lotito Schuh