08-18-18 – Best Selling Canadian Romance Author Donna Alward

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cover Reveal of COURAGE from @harperchildrens

My name is Barbara Binns and I am proud to have been the YA member of the Romancing the Genre team since it's inception. My newest book is called COURAGE, and will be released in spring of 2018 by Harper Childrens Books. Today, I am following the advice on Discoverability I posted for RTG back in 2015 and beginning my promotion efforts. Romancing The Genres is one of several sites hosting the cover reveal of my debut MG novel: COURAGE

Don't you love this cover!!

Courage is a book young people, along with parents, teachers, librarians and anyone who cares about young people will want to look into. It's about friendship, and family, that very first crush and the need to be the best. In last month's post about The Importance of School, I told you a little about Courage and how it's march toward publication progressed.  For this month, here's a brief overview: 

The story inside COURAGE

T’Shawn Rodgers lives on Chicago's south side. He is rapidly approaching his thirteenth birthday, and the magic of finally being a real teenager. T, as his friends call him, used to be afraid of water. Now he wants to be a springboard diver more than anything. OK, it's true, T would like to see his best friend cured from sickle cell disease. That inherited illness sometimes leaves Dontae on the ground in agony. And T would give almost anything for a birthday kiss from Carmela, the prettiest girl in school (if you don’t believe she is, ask her).The first time T dives off the end of a springboard, he moves from wanting to impress Carmela to needing to experience that feeling of free flying as often as he can. The kid with no interest in sports suddenly dreams of becoming a medal winner. There could be Olympic gold in his future. His south-side of Chicago neighborhood might even throw a parade just for him. Diving lessons cost money. T's mother is still paying off the medical bills from his father’s unsuccessful fight with cancer. She also has to send care packages to her other son, Lamont. Once, Lamont was T’s hero. He taught T to stop being afraid of water. Without his big brother, T might never have survived the pain of losing their father. But Lamont chose to join a gang and left a trail of violence on the streets before his arrest. His actions pulled T into danger, fear, and even more pain and loss. Before he can join the diving team, T learns that Lamont has been released from prison. Instead of a diving board, T's birthday present becomes sharing a bedroom with his violent brother.  Lamont claims he is different now, but T finds him sneaking out at night. The rise in crime following his return can't be just coincidence.  The possibility of danger to Carmela, Dontae and T's younger sister leaves him determined to do something.

There are many types of COURAGE

It takes courage to step up to a bad guy to protect what’s left of your family. Even more courage when that bad guy was once your personal hero. He also has to find the courage to do the unthinkable, fighting his brother to protect what’s left of his family. Most of all, it takes courage to agree to forgive.

PS: T also has to mount that springboard and dive his heart out.

Tell me what you think

COURAGE is defined as the ability to do something that frightens you, and displaying strength in the face of pain or grief. That word accurately describes the kids in this modern-day retelling of the prodigal son story, from the point of view of the good brother who stayed home.

I showed a bit of the opening last month.  Click HERE for an excerpt showing Lamont's homecoming.

Tell me how you feel. About the book, the characters, and ways you see ordinary young people displaying extraordinary courage?


Christine Marciniak said...

It looks great, Barbara! Congratulations!

Diana McCollum said...

I love the cover. T's story sounds fascinating. What age group would you suggest for reading this book?

Lynn Lovegreen said...

The cover and story are awesome!

I agree courage is doing something and being strong even when you're afraid. I am inspired every time I see someone being courageous, and try to do so in my own life. For example, I'm writing a book that scares me right now. But it's a story that needs to be told, so I'm going through with it.

Sarah Raplee said...

That is one powerful excerpt, B.A.! Wow!!! I need to read this book, and buy it for my grandson.

You are an amazing writer!

B. A. Binns said...

First, thank you all for the praise. The next six months will be hectic, with line edits and arcs and all other kinds of goodies in store for me. Diana McCollum, this is a story for the younger readers, say 9 to 13 or 14.

The kids in the story are 12 to 13 (T, my main character has his 13th birthday in the book, only it's not the happiest birthday ever.) There is no sex (although T is reaching the age when he begins thinking about kissing a girl) and almost no violence (just one encounter that leaves kids scared, but no actual blows are exchanged).

Young readers will mostly see kids like themselves dealing with ordinary problems in ways that are different from what adults would do. I think reading this book will help a lot of kids see they are not the only ones who need to face their everyday lives with courage. For example Donte is dealing with an incurable illness. Linda has PTSD as a result of domestic violence. Redmond is trying to hide his homeless status, Sammy fears he will lose his adoptive parents love if he isn't perfect, and Carmela is a police officer's daughter who thinks that gives her some special status and has to learn she is just like everyone else. T'Shawn, the main character, deals with all the push and pull of love of family, even when a family member has proven untrustworthy. There is nothing in here that would do more than get kids reading and talking and that is always my goal with my books. Making them care about the characters, and maybe seeing a little of themselves in one of them.

Maggie Lynch said...

Congrats on the contract, Barbara. I also love the cover. It's the type of cover that would easily speak to kids from 10-14. I also love reading and writing about courage in both small and big ways. It all starts with facing fears. Facing fears successfully provides confidence, which in turn gives one more courage.

Great idea for a book with real world problems and need for courage.

Judith Ashley said...

B.A. Your cover really shows the potential reader some of what the story is about and that is always a draw to the readers you aim for. Their is a difference between courage, bravado and arrogance. I can tell you have the nuances well identified for your readers through T, his family and other characters. Congratulations on your contract with Harper's Children. Of course keep us posted so we can help promote.

www.pjtemple.com said...

Congrats, Barbara. Love that you're addressing these important themes. Excited for you!