Paperback, 292 Pages
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“Sandee Mason will win your heart from the very first chapter of Talent. Goodwin has created a character facing obstacles both far-reaching—her brother is MIA in Afghanistan—and close to home. Her struggles with finding her own identity and her own strength kept me riveted, and the novel never shies away from the complicated issues of our time. Talent is a formidable debut novel that lingers long after the last page.” ~~Stacey Swann, Stegner Fellow at Stanford University +++ B. Lynn Goodwin knows the worlds of this novel--the world of high schools, the world of theater, the world of teenage struggle and she blends them into a novel that draws you in and keeps you there. Every reader will love Sandee and identify with her journey of personal discovery and growth. ~~Aline Soules, Librarian and Author of Evening Sun and Meditation on Woman +++ See more inside...
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Nov 5, 2015Ms. Goodwin's insight into the thought processes of teenagers is evident throughout the novel. Wit and stark honesty make Talent an incredibly gripping novel. Complicated layered characters and compelling plot twists maintains the reader’s interest. I wanted to know what would happen, but I didn’t want the book to end. Now I want to know what happened after the story ended. I hope this is the introductory novel of a Coming of Age series about Sandee. Slightly on the chubby side, Sandee munches M&M’s on her way throughout the novel. It is her way of dealing with stress. And stress she has to the umpteenth degree. Teen drinking, petty jealousies regarding boys and parts for the high school musical, 'Oklahoma', dysfunctional parents who are totally preoccupied with her missing brother, underage driving, her brother's high school girlfriend’s disloyalty, being scapegoated unfairly and somehow coming through it all a stronger more confident person. The missing Bri is with her more in... More > spirit than while he was the high school super star athlete and honor student. Sandee didn’t want anything except a singing part in Oklahoma, instead she becomes the assistant stage manager. Mystery and intrigue almost curse the musical. Resourceful Sandee saves the day with the help of the stalwart Mrs. G. Sandee’s resolute courage made her my new hero in much the same way Katniss Evergreen did in the 'Hunger Games'. The target reading group for this novel is high schoolers. But don’t let the age thing stop you; this book is for anyone who likes great writing and a powerful page turner.< Less
Nov 4, 2015Applause! Applause! For Lynn Goodwin’s Talent, a YA novel filled with heart. The young Sophomore heroine is drawn to the prestige of appearing in high school theater and tries out for the play. The author’s twist, she doesn’t even get a small part and no star backs out to plummet her into the glow of stage lights. Instead, she accepts the job of assistant stage manager. The reader is quickly drawn into other family and friend issues, a brother lost at war, a mother isolated and bereft, teenagers on the edge of alcoholism. The theater backdrop adds interest, revealing the nuts and bolts happenings behind the stage, the ordinary, but necessary work to create a successful production. With clearly drawn characters and the light touch of romance, this one’s a winner. I give it five curtain calls.
Nov 4, 2015I found it hard to write this review and tell you all I liked about this book without giving away spoilers. (Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away) Talent is a thought-provoking read about a girl struggling with the usual teenage problems (school, boyfriends, trying to find her own identity) but with the added problem that her older brother is missing in service in Afghanistan. Ms Goodwin creates a wonderful cast of characters who are all affected by this disappearance and I totally believed the actions and reactions of Sandee, her mum and dad and all their friends. Sandee imagines she can hear her brother Brian’s voice giving her advice and some of my favourite parts of the book are the letters she writes to him. But Sandee also has her own real-life problems and aspirations. She desperately wants to be in the school production of Oklahoma and the first chapter sees her auditioning. It is obvious that Talent is written by someone who knows and loves theatre. She knows the problems... More > that can befall at production ... and, yes, Sandee is destined to have to cope with many problems before the end of the book. She also has a lot of tough choices to make regarding loyalty to her friends and doing the right thing and I was rooting for her all the way. I loved the cover of this book and there are some discussion points at the end that will be useful for teachers or just to get the reader thinking. A solid read about some real-life issues.< Less
Nov 3, 2015I just finished reading Talent by Lynn Goodwin. My eyes are still moist from crying. Ms. Goodwin has created a memorable character in her heroine, Sandee Mason. Sandee’s exploits made me cry with laughter, joy and empathy. I teach high school five days a week, but reading Talent brought me back to feelings I had when I was a high school student. Sandee experiences teenage angst and feelings of loss and frustration universal to the human experience. I tell my students that teenagers make mistakes. That’s their job. The important thing is that they learn from their mistakes and move forward. Sandee makes lots of mistakes, but emerges as a role model for other students. She is the type of character, I want my students to emulate in their own individual ways. I look forward to sharing this book with my sophomore English classes. They will love the fact that the main character, Sandee, is a sophomore like them. As a teacher, I appreciate that there are already discussion questions in the... More > back of the book to make my lesson planning easier. This is one high school book that I will not mind reading over and over again with my students.< Less
Nov 3, 2015I loved this young adult novel in a genre more adults should read. The pages kept turning as I followed Sandee through her struggle with grief, love, school, and finding her true talent. Excellent book. I'll be looking for more from this author
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- B. Lynn Goodwin (Standard Copyright License)
- Eternal Press
- November 1, 2015
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.1 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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