|Author Jenny Moore
All rights reserved Heather Zahn Gardner
Posts Categorized: Heather Gardner Photography
by Jody Wind Durfee
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 2013
by Covenant Communications
Book Source: LDSBA
When Maddi Benson moves in next door to Jaxon Quayle, neither of them knows how much life is about to change. Jaxon knows he should date only girls who share his faith, but as he gets to know Maddi he wants his new neighbor to be more than a friend. To make things even more complicated, there’s Maddi’s twin brother Hadley (or Hadley-Hadley, as he calls himself), who has special needs and always seems to be hanging around, and Jaxon’s pal Tanner, who feels more than a little left out. Jaxon feels hopeful when the Bensons begin to consider joining the Church, which would solve at least one of his problems. But just when things seem to be working out, a horrible prank seems to make everything fall apart, leaving Maddi and Jaxon caught in the middle of doubt and faith, hurt and forgiveness, friendship and love.
Review: I received a copy of Hadley- Hadley Benson from a signing by the author at the LDSBA convention and truly had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew is that I liked the red chucks on the cover. As soon as I started reading the sweet newness of a High School crush and the every day trials of living with a loved one on the autism spectrum I jumped in. I absolutely beam inside when an author chooses to integrate and feature a character with ASD or special needs, and Jody Wind Durfee does it well. My heart was tugged over the trials Hadley Benson’s family and friends go though to protect both his innocence and his spirit.
Told in the perspective of Jaxon Quayle, a soccer star and ordinary next door neighbor to the Benson family, this is a story of forgiveness and hope. Jaxon knows from the second Maddi Benson moves in that she is someone he wants to get to know better, but Hadley keeps somehow tagging along. Jaxon has a lot of growing up to do and readers get to see his character develop in testimony and awareness of others. Each chapter is very short, which I actually liked. There were only a few glitches in long paragraphs of simple conversation that slowed the pacing of the book, but I sat down and read it all in one Saturday afternoon, finishing in tears.
Jody Wind Durfee has written a relevant and heartfelt YA contemp for the LDS and general audience that I would happily recommend, youth or adult. Her sweet understanding of special needs youth and their caregivers is a message that needs to be shared and I’m so glad she took the time to write Hadley- Hadley Benson!
Highlight with cursor to reveal content: clean, some mild prank related violence and blood from an accident
Second, the volunteers were extraordinary! I’ve attended almost every Summer Games since I began coaching and the people that help are always incredible, but this year, I might have paid more attention to what everybody does. The kitchen staff were always helpful and friendly––and there were a lot of people to feed, the janitorial staff was ON IT, and all of those helping with Healthy Athletes were kind and professional, no matter how many times I interrupted to gather athletes for events.
I can’t begin to mention all of the work the volunteers do, but here are a few things I noticed––they encourage, cheer for, time, announce, stage athletes to prepare for races, guide athletes onto the track, take pictures, tape lines so the athletes (and coaches) aren’t confused about where the athletes need to race, ready medals and ribbons, announce medals, make snow cones, paint faces, sing, dance, set up and take down tents, organize opening and closing ceremonies, listen, share, coach, love and on and on and on. (I haven’t even mentioned the trillions of hours the paid SOUT staff put in.)In addition to all of this, there was something I hadn’t seen before this year. In a corner of the school, there was a back drop, stool, interviewer and camera where people were able to tell their personal Special Olympics story. I’d walk past the area each time I retrieved an athlete from Healthy Athletes. I was always in a hurry, but I still heard little snippets. Some were given by parents or coaches or siblings, volunteers or athletes. Storytelling is always powerful, but I can only imagine the power of these stories and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one day I’ll be able to tell about the many people with Special Olympics that have influenced me. I’ll be watching for the stories they collected this year.
The thing is, all of these volunteers get together for the incredible, courageous, human, funny, witty, humbling athletes. And I am so thankful they let me be a part of it.
Each year the LDS Booksellers Convention holds a trade show called LDSBA to unveil the new covers and titles. This year I got to attend both days photographing signings, authors and booths out on the exhibit floor. There are so many amazing new books and music releases I want to share with you all!
Also announced at the conference were this years Whitney award winners. I read 14 of the finalist books this year as an academy member. You can see what I thought of them on Goodreads. Congrats to this years winners!
2012 WhITNEY WINNERS
Fire and Ice is pleased to welcome author Nichole Giles on the Descendant Blog Tour. I am particularly excited about this one because I just attended the release party at The King’s English this week and had a chance to see my author photo of Nichole in print! See photos of the event here.
Plus, keep reading to hear why she became and author. We also have an awesome giveaway to offer to those who enter.
Fire and Ice: Do you have a playlist or music you listen to while writing?
|Photo by Heather Zahn Gardner|
Thanks for the interview! I hope you enjoy Descendant.
Praise for DESCENDANT: “A hot new spin on paranormal, Descendant is refreshingly imaginative and powerful. I can’t decide which was best — piecing together Abby’s sinister past or keeping up with her heartbreaking future. If you like your YA laced with melt-my-heart romance and a good helping of heart-pounding suspense, you’ll love this book!” — Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of The Breakaway
“This debut novel delivers in all the right ways, with heart-pounding action and a delicious romance that sweeps centuries. I loved it!” –Elana Johnson, author of Possession and Surrender
About Nichole Giles: Nichole Giles was born in Nevada, and moved with her parents to a number of cities in and around the West. Writing is her passion, but she also loves to spend time with her husband and four children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.
Nichole is sponsoring a massive giveaway during the blog tour of DESCENDANT! To enter, fill out the form below.
Fire and Ice is happy to announce we will be attending BEA again this year! I would love to meet as many of you as possible so comment below if you are going.
What should I definitely see while in New York? (Last time I loved Central Park and the Met!)
Pricing for NYC mini sessions
Contact email@example.com to book a session. And I will see you in The Big Apple!
|Me and Maggie Stiefvater at BEA- Scholastic party|
And if by chance you missed the event last night…no worries you can head to Provo Library tonight at 7 PM for another chance to see Marissa Meyer!