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The Powers: A Novel Hardcover – April 30, 2013
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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It’s the summer of 1941, and America is engulfed by the drama of WWII. A constant flow of distressing news is filtering in from Europe, and the impending military draft is about to change the lives of nearly everyone. On the home front, 18-year-old friends Joe D’Ambrosio and Bernie Keller are vying for the affections of Agnes O’Leary. In addition to navigating the tricky waters of romance, Joe is trying to maintain his pacifist ideals, while Bernie struggles to come to terms with his German heritage. Agnes relies on her developing passion for photography to help her manage her uncertain love life. Also on everyone’s minds is baseball. Joe DiMaggio is in the middle of his record-breaking hitting streak, and he is feeling the pressure. A fascinating mix of baseball novel, love story, and history lesson, The Powers is a trip back in time to an America on the edge of great change. Highly inventive and richly detailed, it is the story of people struggling to face an uncertain future with the help of a young ballplayer named Joe. --Carol Gladstein
"Stylish...Sayers captures the momentous 1941 baseball season with...nuanced acumen and sophistication." - Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating mix of baseball novel, love story, and history lesson." - Booklist
"Brilliantly realized. The prose has a distinctive, brutal elegance. The many vivid characters...breathe with authenticity, and the emotions at stake are grippingly real. The whole thing is so assuredly done that even Red Sox fans will be won over." - Steve Donaghue, Washington Post
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I love the fusion of history & invention, the lives of the famous (Dorothy Day, Walker Evans, Joe DiMaggio) colliding with the lives of the *other* Joe & Bernie & Babe & Agnes.
They are all wondrously complicated people, each one gorgeously evoked through perception & sensibility, rendered with exquisite attention to the secret, astonishing, utterly unique, and endlessly surprising inner life.
About halfway through I began to realize my passions were tilting toward Agnes, that she was becoming the brightest star (for me) in a dazzling constellation, and ultimately I do believe she is the great *witness* in the novel, the one who IS afraid, but who dares to move through fear to offer the terrifying truth of photographic testimony.
In this she becomes a mythic hero(ine), one who journeys to the underworld, and returns to save, to restore, or at least to enlighten others with the dark wonder of her humane visions.
In this daring work of fiction, this startling investigation of history, Valerie Sayers demonstrates the expansiveness of her own heart, the tenderly insightful generosity of her compassionate mind and spirit.
She shines a brilliant light on atrocity while simultaneously offering her readers delight & magic, the refuge & relief of genuine humor.
a big thank you to Valerie Sayers. she came to our class for a book signing and open discussion. i admire her greatly.
Margaret A. Marasco
St. Joseph's University, 2014