The Namesake by Steven Parlato

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Synopsis

Gifted artist? Standout student? All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School. As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore. Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years of his life living a lie. Despite his mother's encouragement and the steadfast companionship of his best friend, Alexis, Evan is mired in rage and bitterness. Good memories seem ludicrous when the present holds no hope. Then Evan's grandmother hands him the key--literally, a key--to a locked trunk that his father hid when he was the same age as Evan is now. Digging into the trunk and the small-town secrets it uncovers, Evan can begin to face who his father really was, and why even the love of his son could not save him.

In a voice that resonates with the authenticity of grief, Steven Parlato tells a different kind of coming-of-age story, about a boy thrust into adulthood too soon, through the corridor of shame, disbelief, and finally...compassion.

 

About Steven Parlato

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Steven Parlato, a writer, teacher, and illustrator whose poetry has been featured in Borderlands and Freshwater is the winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices in Children's Literature. He lives in Connecticut with his family and is at work on his second novel. Jacquelyn Mitchard was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1957. She studied creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1976, she became a journalist and eventually achieved the position as lifestyle columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. Her weekly column, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide until she retired it in 2007. She is the author of children's, young adult, and adult books. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club and was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years. It was also adapted into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Her other adult novels include The Breakdown Lane; Twelve Times Blessed; Christmas, Present; A Theory of Relativity; The Most Wanted; Cage of Stars; and Still Summer. Her children's books include Starring Prima!: The Mouse of the Ballet Jolie; Rosalie, My Rosalie: The Tale of a Duckling; and Ready, Set , School! Her young adult books include Now You See Her; All We Know of Heaven; and The Midnight Twins series.
 
Published December 18, 2012 by Merit Press. 290 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Namesake

Kirkus Reviews

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With his friend Alexis, Evan goes “Dad-excavating.” His digging for answers “let[s] the dragon out of the cave,” though, as troubling information unfolds about his father’s school life, his job as an altar boy and Father Fran’s unusual interest in offering private art lessons.

Dec 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Namesake

Publishers Weekly

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Evan's journey—locating the wounds in his father's past (in which Catholicism played a large part), unburdening himself of blame and the fear that he will follow in his father's footsteps, and salvaging his current relationships—is complex and solidly woven.

Feb 18 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake

BC Books

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Parlato shows the reader that Evan’s obsession with finding out the truth is not the only important feature of the story, but that perhaps it is how Evan’s actions affect those around him.

Dec 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Namesake

BC Books

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As soon as Evan enters his father’s distraught world, the pacing of the book picks up and the writing style turns from quirky and at times sad, to mysterious and very scary.

Dec 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Namesake

The Best Reviews

Evan is dealing with the worst grief possible, the death of his father by suicide.

Jan 18 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake

Reader Rating for The Namesake
85%

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