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Out of the Pocket [Kindle Edition]

B. E. Stanfel
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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  • Length: 215 pages (Contains Real Page Numbers)
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Book Description

Set in the heart of the suburban Midwest, emerging author Blythe Stanfel gives us her first captivating novel, Out of the Pocket. This young adult historical fiction piece catalogs the Iraq War in 2003 and 2004 through the eyes of a senior high school football player, whose father is stationed in Iraq as a Major in the United States Army. Out of the Pocket bridges the literary gap that teenage boys often encounter when choosing novels to read, and provides them with an outlet to understand adolescence from a different perspective... Soldiers fighting in Iraq struggle physically and emotionally to survive each day, but what about their loved ones left back at home? Young boys and girls can easily relate to the main character in Out of the Pocket, Mercer Murray, whose slightly sarcastic yet sensitive voice, offers insight into the life of a typical high school senior struggling with football, girls, and most of all, his father fighting in the Iraq War. Even those with short-attention spans will be captivated with the journal and e-mail format of the novel that explores the justification for war and the hardships of high school life. Although Mercer’s main focus is to play football at the University of Iowa the following year, he also learns about the life of a typical Iraqi teenager through e-mails with Ahmed, a young translator for Mercer's father who starts a correspondence with Mercer. Though separated by thousands of miles, the two men form a bond as Mercer provides support to Ahmed in his struggles to provide food for his family, and Ahmed helps Mercer learn how to survive without his dad. High school English and history teachers could use Out of the Pocket as a median to teach about the Iraq war while analyzing themes, symbolism, and character development. The best way to teach history is to tell a story.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blythe Stanfel is a proud Wisconsin Badger and stay-at-home mom. She currently resides in central Iowa with her loving husband and her adoring children. As a former high school English teacher and a current university instructor, Blythe loves bringing literature and writing alive for her students. She also teaches kickboxing and enjoys singing in weddings. Out of the Pocket is Blythe's first published novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 11817 KB
  • Print Length: 215 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615912419
  • Publisher: Library Tales Publishing (December 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H6AUH6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,766 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I very much enjoyed this book December 12, 2013
I was very excited to read this book, as it was written by a former teacher of mine. However, I was concerned that I would not be able to relate, as the book was written for and about adolescent males. Boy, were my concerns way off! I very much enjoyed this book, and was able to relate to several of the issues, even though I have been out of high school for a decade. It was also interesting to learn facts about the Iraq war that I had either forgotten, or never known in the first place. The way in which Stanfel inserts facts makes them interesting rather than tedious like a text book would be.

Although I am an avid reader, and am used to typical book formatting, I found the formatting of this book refreshing and easy to read. The way in which Stanfel utilizes email and journal entries as the format of the book makes the book a quick, easy, and entertaining read.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and when the end came I was sad to know it was over. This was one book I could not put down, and read it cover to cover in less than 2 days (a difficult feat when you have a child under 2). I have already recommended this book to several people, and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I read it ahead of sharing it with my children. I found myself staying up late... turning off the game to find out what happened to Mercer. I enjoyed the winding road of Mercer's life and looking at the world from different perspectives. Have your children read this book... it just might give them a new perspective that they have it pretty good !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for young adults January 11, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of reading this book as my last book of 2013.

Mercer is a typical teenager. He loves to play football and dreams of playing for his favorite college team, the University of Iowa. He loves to screw around with his buddies and likes to talk about cute girls. Initially, Mercer is also selfish, full of himself and immature. Unfortunately, Mercer's dad has been sent to Iraq to fight in the Iraq war. His dad decides to connect him with an Iraqi teenager who is working as a translator for the American military. Mercer meets Ahmed. Ahmed makes an incredible difference in Mercer's life. Throughout their email exchange, we see Mercer mature and grow as he realizes that there is more to life than himself.

I think this is a fantastic book for young adults and shows how we often need to see beyond our own lives to the world around us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! February 18, 2014
By Sharon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Author showed her depth of research in her well written book. We would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to the young male readers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! February 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My 11 year old daughter liked the email format of the book and the ending. She also thought the wording was very descriptive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read February 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We all loved this must read book. Very well written! It is good for such a wide range of ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait to read another book by B.E. Stanfel December 19, 2013
By ann
Format:Kindle Edition
Compelling and interesting insight about how a Christian high school football player copes with the absence of his father during the war in Iraq. I could not put Out @f the Pocket down and have been telling all my friends in 6th grade to read it. Don't hesitate to buy this one. It will not disappoint!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read story! March 10, 2014
Out Of The Pocket really helps you imagine how hard it is to have someone fighting in another country. I've always been thankful for my family but this book got to me and told me to cherish my parents at all times because you never know what could happen to them at any point in time. As a teenager myself, I was able to connect with Mercer in many different ways, more than I could with any other book. I really encourage teenagers and young adults to read this story!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved it. I learned
I absolutely loved it. I learned, I cried, I related. What a wonderful read for young people, parents and everyone in between. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rainbow Grey
5.0 out of 5 stars The journaling is a wonderful way to tell the story
Well written. I appreciated the perspective of two teenage boys who were both experiencing the war in dramatically different ways. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lora Romeo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! brought tears to my eyes
What a great story with history and religion woven in! Perfect for teens and above. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing! Can't wait for your next story!
Published 12 months ago by Tony D. Thelen
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and engaging
Finally, a fresh coming-of-age story, told not through boring narrative but through the journal entries and emails of a surprising and delightful protagonist. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Stephen C George
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent from start to end
I am not a big reader,therefore I'm unsure if this style of writing is popular. The e-mails and journal entries made me so much more involved in the day-to-day lives of all the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars bossiness
This book is just 2 boss for u!
It is beautifully written, in the form of e-mails and journal entries
Published 14 months ago by no one
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for teenage male readers
I Loved the format of the emails telling the story. It was a great way to capture the characters in a journalistic point of view. Looking forward to Stanfel's next book.
Published 15 months ago by Tbogz
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and fun read!
Great read for teens and adults alike! Good synopsis of the Iraq War from '03-'04 and creative format with the journal and email format.
Published 15 months ago by Blythe Stanfel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Great book for all ages! The story line and format kept me hooked and the ending was great! I would advise it as required reading for all high school kids!
Published 16 months ago by Brenda
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