“Renegade” Wins 2nd Place in National Literary Competition
Middle Grade Novel Explores Bullying, Urban Gangs and Self Defense
Tallahassee, Florida, December 15, 2012—The Tallahassee Writer’s Association (TWA) has announced that Renegade, a middle grade novel about urban violence, bullying, and self-defense by SR Staley, won second place in the Children’s Chapter Book division of the 2012 Seven Hills Literary Contest (www.twaonline.org). The first and third place winners in the chapter book division included authors from Maryland and California. All winners from all divisions are featured in Volume 18 of the Seven Hills Review, now available on amazon.com.
Renegade tells the story of Maria, a seventh grader in an urban middle school, whose world is turned upside down when she is targeted by her school’s most powerful gang. Faced with escalating threats and violence, she has to choose between new ways to defend herself or sticking with familiar streetwise skills.
Eighth graders one Minnesota middle school to their teacher, Charlene Irvin-Brown, “that all teachers and staff…should be required to read Renegade” because they felt that “Renegade explains a lot about why kids behave the way they do.” Donna Meredith, a former high-school English teacher and author of The Color of Lies, writes: “The pacing of Renegade makes it an entertaining novel for all young people and an especially fine choice to engage reluctant readers. The action is relentless.”
“I believe that this book should be in every 6th grade program across the country,” writes another reader at amazon.com. “It reminded me so much of when I was a young and misunderstood teenage girl. The choices she makes when faced with her day to day problems are heartwarming. It also made me take a second look at how I react with my own children.”
Renegade is the second book in the Path of the Warrior series by SR Staley (www.srstaley.com) and his third young adult novel. The series examines contemporary violence, bullying and self- using a modern martial arts perspective. The first book in the series, A Warrior’s Soul, follows the story of Luke and Lucy as they face down bullies in their suburban middle school. SR Staley’s first young-adult novel, The Pirate of Panther Bay, tells the tale of Isabella, an escaped slave who finds herself captaining a pirate ship in the violent and tempestuous 18th century Caribbean Sea.
DISCLOSURE: SR Staley is a professional member of the TWA, but all entries in the Seven Hills Literary Contest are blind reviewed anonymously by experts in their respective genres.