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Boys of Blur

Review

Boys of Blur

Twelve-year-old Charlie Reynolds has no idea what to expect when he moves to Taper, Florida --- Taper’s beloved high school football coach, Coach Wiz, has died, and Charlie’s stepfather, Prester Mack, is going to replace him. Charlie can tell that there is something strange about this place, but can't quite put his finger on it until he meets Cotton, who tells him that this small town is filled with haunting tales about the sugar cane fields. Charlie begins to wonder if his encounter with an enigmatic man named Lio, the mysterious disappearance of Coach Wiz's body and the blood markings on the town church lend credence to the stories.
 
A great coming-of-age story with a wonderfully orchestrated mix of themes.
 
N.D. Wilson keeps his teen readers hopping in this action-packed adventure. The main theme --- good versus evil --- is tightly interwoven throughout many other concurrent themes, including dysfunctional family relationships, child abuse, racism, and sugar cane harvest and muck rabbit history. For the story’s setting, Wilson has pulled elements from the classic “Beowulf” to create hideous swampland creatures (Grens and Stanks), whose demonic presence is under the control of a Grendel-like figure called Mother.
 
Amid the muck and the mire (pun intended), Wilson masterfully ties the endurance of Charlie and Cotton --- those brave underdogs --- to football.  Overall, BOYS OF BLUR is definitely a great coming-of-age story with a wonderfully orchestrated mix of themes.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on May 13, 2014

Boys of Blur
by N. D. Wilson

  • Publication Date: April 8, 2014
  • Genres: Adventure, Children's
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0449816737
  • ISBN-13: 9780449816738