author & self defense coach
Renegade: 2nd Place, 2012 Seven Hills Literary Contest (Children's Chapter Book Division)!
“S.R. Staley’s contemporary middle-grade novel, ‘Renegade,’ jumps right into the brutal world of girl gangs” and “weaves a tale of middle-school mayhem, emotional insecurity, physical brutality, and complicated relationships.” [ Tallahassee Democrat (August 4, 2013)
"My middle school students had the amazing opportunity to help proof this book. When we finished they told me that every teacher, principal and staff at a middle school should be required to read it. One of the students who is now in high school read the finished book in 2 days. I asked him if he still liked the book with the changes and he said, 'No, I love it'. This book not only grabs the attention of students because they can relate to it but also shows them a way to make things better."[ Charlene Irvin-Brown, Reading teacher, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
"Staley's second book in the series is an easy, fun and quick read for adults. It should be required reading for kids in middle and junior high and their parents as it deals with the growing problem of bullying. I found the plot to be topically relevant and the characters and action scenes credible. The dialogue was easy to follow considering bits and pieces were in Spanish and I thoroughly enjoyed the book's detail on various aspects of martial arts training. Great job, SR Staley!" [ CL Gregoire, auhtor of Death Spiral, Centerville, Ohio.
"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. The plot centers around Maria, targeted by gang members because she is the tallest girl in her middle school class. Though she would never confess this to anyone, she rather likes her classes at school and knows that education is a way to improve her life.... Maria proves time and again she is different from her adversaries because she curbs her anger, rather than damage her opponents unmercifully. These gang members would never show the same consideration. A mysterious savior named Joshua appears and...his appearance is a turning point in Maria's life. He teaches her martial arts skills that have the potential to save Maria's life--and maybe even change her school and community." [Donna Meredith, author of The Color of Lies and the Glass Madonna, Tallahassee, Florida.
"This book was a wonderful read. I believe that this book should be in every 6th grade program across the country. It is fast paced but provides all the information needed to understand just what Maria is going through. 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. Thank SR Staley for reminding me what the "real world" is all about!" [ Amanda, Dayton, Ohio."
"I think Renegade is definitely faster-paced than the first book (Warrior's Soul). It's very action packed from the beginning while giving needed information so you can understand the concept. It's very different from many stories I've read because, unlike most, this book's main character is a Latino girl named Maria De Le Garza, different from Luke or Lucy (Warrior's Soul) so she faces new and different challenges. Maria has to face violence in and out of school at the hands of a girl gang called Las Mejores Chicas. She learns to use a han bo (half staff), a martial arts tool, for self-protection. I like the way the book is expressed from Maria's point of view but you also get background information about other characters." [ 10-year old reader (boy), on amazon.com.Content copyright 2016. IZS Inc. All rights reserved.
A Warrior's Soul
"The story is an excellent one, it shows that violence is not the answer, through a disciplined regime of training to defend yourself, that if you can stick up for yourself and react in the correct manner then you can achieve your goals. The authors writing brings the story and emotions to life - fear, anger, frustration and trying to establish a power base is poignant to any establishment with an age range. The growing up stages of any youth rely on one thing, which is brought across very strongly throughout this book, that they all need a role model of some description that they can relate to, to alleviate their worries and seek advice from. I would strongly recommend this book to any young reader to give them the belief that their is always someone they can turn to." [ Beck Valley Books, 6 March 2012
“Thanks to SR Staley's powerful writing, I was transported into the story - I was hiding in the dead-end alley, being pounded by the rain as I prayed the bullies wouldn't find me. I was Luke - scared, embarrassed and ashamed that I hadn't stood up for myself and my friends. If a book can easily paint me into a picture I've never been in before, it's definitely worth a read….This book continued to surprise me the whole way through. It seemed to shift from powerful and descriptive fight/flee scenes to incredibly realistic thoughts and dialogue, all the while building up to the final action-packed scenes.” [ bookreviewvenue.blogspot.com, 13 February 2012
“Many of my students in middle school can relate to this and that is why this book is now sitting on my shelf for anyone to read. I have also donated a copy to my school library so that others in the school can check it out and realize that they are not alone in the battle of bullies. It truly takes a village to make things change and each voice matters.” [ Liveteachcreate.com, 29 Feb 2012.
“Staley's novel is a fast-paced, enjoyable read that delivers not only action, but also offers insight into how martial arts training can influence young people's everyday decisions.” [ Donna Meredith, Author of "The Color of Lies," from Donna's Bookshelf at Midwest Book Review (January 2012)
“I love books that have a good story line behind them and A Warrior’s Soul is one of those type [sic] of books…. This book is an awesome book to share with kids who might be facing a bully and not sure how to handle it. I passed my copy on to a friend who has a child facing this same problem.” [ JenniferSikora.com/redhedreviews, 30 March 2012
“As a mom of a middle school student I found this book very intriguing coming from the view of a young boy and his daily life. With bullying being such a huge problem in today's society I think this book really opens the door to teach not only young boys that they have a voice but also girls. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re a parent but even more so if you have a child in middle school or soon to be. It would also make a great summer reading book for any young adult.” [ Becca, everydaylifes.com, 20 June 2012
“Overall, Staley does a good job of staying true to the ninja code. I can’t wait to read the next one. At the end of book, there is a selection of excellent classroom discussion questions. Asking students to identify symbolism and perspective is a critical step to advanced reading. A Warrior’s Soul gives teachers and parents the opportunity to discuss with children the ways to resolve serious situations. It’s difficult to find a book that will hit home with middle schoolers. This is an excellent choice for reluctant readers in middle school.” [ Dianne,savingsinseconds.com, 24 June 2012
“A Warrior’s Soul, by SR Staley is an excellent book that takes you through the everyday life of an average teenage boy who is stuck dealing with a problem that is all too often overlooked and even ignored by principals and teaching staff in schools all across America…. You can feel the anger and torment as Luke battles with his own inner demons, wondering why he cannot stand up to this bully, wondering why he froze and was unable to use his ninja skills to defend himself, or perhaps even defeat this bigger older kid who has bullied nearly every kid in Luke’s school.” [ Jennifer, jennsblahblahblog.com, 3 July 2012
“Bullying and bullies, are a huge problem in today's schools and as a mom of 4, 1 that has been bullied, I am happy for this book! Not only does the author have the storytelling down very well, he has the rights from wrongs done perfectly too! This is a book I would hand any teen who is being bullied; not only is it a cool book, it has an excellent story, great characters, lessons, and this is something most pre teens and teens can relate to these days.” [ Brandy, Bussymommylist.com, 8 July 2012
“You cannot run from the nature to protect. Leaping to protect his friends, Luke will learn what it means to be a warrior and that it's more than training. A Warrior's Soul is a fine and exciting read for younger readers, highly recommended.” [ Wisconsin Book Watch (September 2011)
“I would recommend this book to people who like stories in which the character must gain the courage to do what is right. In the book, Luke agonized over this, and I found that I could somewhat relate to him. The book dealt a lot with standing up to people and doing the right thing. A Warrior's Soul was an inspiring book, and I finished it soon after I started it.” [ Ben Weldon (age 13), Readerviewskids.com.
SR Staley, novelist and storyteller © 2013 | All Rights Reserved
415 West 6th Avenue, Tallahassee, FL, USA, 32303-5958 +1.937.409.9013 firstname.lastname@example.org