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  • By Todd Rutherford
    Oct 24, 2010
    Rodney Albert Black is a character. I don't simply mean that Rodney is a character in Hold Your Light, the newest piece of autobiographical fiction written by novelist Wayne Bien. I mean Rodney is a character, and quite frankly the world needs more characters. Hold Your Light is not only a charming read, but also a message for kids struggling at a young age with the choice of homosexuality. Rodney's a cool kid, quirky, and intelligent. While horses are a huge part of his life, his weight problem leaves him spending the bulk of his time reading in bed, listening to music, and thinking about his classmates. Not all of his classmates, just the boys. This is something that his parents won't abide, and are simply not prepared to raise a gay child. Much to Rodney's pleasure he is sent to an all boys military academy. That will fix him. Hold Your Light is an inspiring, coming of age story told quickly and without regrets. Rodney's journey toward manhood is helped along by a number of... More > generous adults seemingly eager to help, or at least straighten him out. Following a short stint at a Southern military academy, Rodney returns to his first school and boyfriend, and discovers Rocket. Rocket is a gorgeous horse that has a remarkable affect on Rodney’s self-confidence. Rodney is not the clichéd “queer” boy you might expect, but rather the first to throw a punch, and the only student with the courage to mount Rocket. Not unlike Rodney, Rocket is known to throw a punch or two himself. Rocket changes Rodney and his newfound confidence is undeniable. This is a very well written, fun read that can be enjoyed by readers of any age.< Less
  • By Molly Martin
    Sep 19, 2010
    Review: Wayne Bien’s Hold Your Light is billed as a novel, work of fiction, and is dedicated to Bien’s friends whose lives have inspired this tale. It is a narrative worth the read. Rodney Albert Blake’s story begins in October 1955. He was seven days old. Rodney picks up the narrative a few years later as he tells of his house, his bedroom where he enjoys playing records and thinking of David and some of the other boys in his class. He does not yet realize that society is not particularly patient, kind or tolerant of either child or adult who deviates from the so called norm. Rodney didn’t have much of a chance for normalcy, he was overweight, his parents were intolerant, his thoughts were not the so called norm. He preferred staying to himself, mainly in his own room where he listened to music his parents disliked and daydreamed of boys in his classroom, which when his parents realized they disliked even more. A few bright spots were present in Rodney’s life, Sophie, his... More > grandparents colored maid was a kindly soul, Grandfather, an artistic man was loving and horses helped to keep Rodney grounded and feeling that life was worth living. His growing awareness of his own body and his attraction to members of his own sex coupled with little understanding that societal mores were against either were soon going to cause Rodney much grief. From a child living at home in an environment filled with rigid traditions Rodney came to understand that his parents could not fathom, or agree with his feelings; he was sent to a military boarding school and was not permitted to return home. Rodney’s introduction to the boarding school came as he was taken to the resident psychiatrist, a Doctor Barnes who asked a point blank, -are you queer?- Followed with the notation that since Rodney admitted he likely was, the school would feel little need to protect him from fellow students. Getting used to a southern accent and mannerisms, learning why being –queer- is so troubling to so many, and learning that his parents had effectively abandoned him to the school and whatever he might face, being sent back to his first military school as a boarder, renewing old friendship, meeting a horse who would help to change his life, meeting a teacher who would be part of the change of his life, moving from school to a farm, and papers from his parents releasing their custody of him are all a part of Rodney’s story. Writer Bien has crafted an easy reading tale sure to appeal to youngsters who may be in search of their own gender identity. I can see a place for Hold Your Light on the counselor’s shelf, as well as in the public library and even in many progressive school libraries. I might venture that many, if not most of us do in fact know a Rodney or two, teachers face a wide range of youngsters as the years go by. I suspect that young gender troubled students have sat under the tutelage of many of us whether we choose to accept or believe so. Hold Your Light is a well written, fast moving work having a few grammar or typo type problems which in no way detract or prevent enjoyment of the work. Happy to recommend Wayne Bien’s Hold Your Light for the YA audience, middle to upper grade and high school students, counselors, and parents who may suspect their own child may have gender issues and do not know how to broach or talk to their child as well as any segment of readers who know little of gender issues and are willing to read with an open mind. I plan to offer my own paperback copy to our school counselor where I think the work may well fit into a counseling program. =========================== Reviewed by Molly’s Reviews molly martin =========================== Product Details and Shipping Information from LULU TITLE Hold Your Light AUTHOR Wayne Bien GENRE Fiction Interest Level: middle grade to adult Product Details ISBN 978-0-557-51581-3 Edition First Edition Publisher Lulu Pages 265< Less
  • By Wayne Bien
    Sep 9, 2010
    I just finished Hold Your Light. Congratulations! I particularly enjoyed all the chapters about Rodney and Rocket and was very sad at the loss of Josh. And I loved how Sophie kept reappearing and giving Rodney her admonition. Looking forward to book 3. Alan Evans
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Product Details

First Edition
October 24, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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