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I bought Solo when it first came out, but because I teach primary grades, I put it in my to be read pile, where it was always preempted by other books I needed to read. Finally I took the time to pull it out and spent the day reading this lovely book. What a gem! Blade is the son of a washed up rock singer who spends most of his life drunk or high, and unlike his forgiving sister, Blade just can't forgive his father for the hell he has put them through. When his father completely ruins his graduation, Blade can't take it anymore, and it is then he finds something out that shocks him to the core and changes his summer plans, as he heads off to Ghana to find what has been missing in his life.
I almost didn't buy this book because of a comment by a reviewer who says that the book begins with a scene of graphic sex. It does not. Knowing other works by Kwame Alexander, I doubted this warning. Still, I would be purchasing it for the son of a friend, a young man in the hospital who has a good bit of empty time on his hands and who has enjoyed earlier books by Alexander. So I purchased it, and when the book was delivered I checked to see if it would be inappropriate for a 13 year old. Anyway, there is no such scene of graphic sex. There IS a scene on page 19 of the narrator necking in a hammock with his girlfriend "who doesn't believe in sex before marriage." Very mild stuff. Absolutely nothing compared to what most 13 year olds probably fantasize about in their quiet moments. So, this book will be delivered to a young man with a severe medical condition who loves to read, along with another novel, Swing, also by Kwame Alexander.
Awesome novel written in verse explores a variety of themes that teens can relate to. I’ve purchased this book as a gift twice now and I’m sure I will get it again. My extended family lives in Africa (different country than the one in the book, though) and I thought that the author did a good job reflecting the culture and mindset. Not painting a Western sheen on the characters, but letting them be who they would be in real life.
This book is another home run for author Kwame Alexander and his co-writer Mary Rand Hess. His use of verse to write books for middle grade and YA is bringing a new passion for poetry in readers everywhere!
Blade is part of a famous music family, blessed with fame, fortune and music, but also crippled by excess money that has led to living life large under the eyes of paparazzi. Life has not been easy for Blade as he tries to break free of the rumors and reputation that follow his family. As he prepares for life after high school, trying desperately to follow his own path, deep secrets are uncovered and he finds himself on an unexpected journey of discovery.
A beautiful story of music, family, and love, Blade learns that no one walks through this life Solo.
Enjoy this book with the music playlist on hand! Such an incredible addition to the story. I look forward to picking up the audio book as well!
I loved this book and mourn the fact that works like this didn't exist when I was in high school. This book offers a window into life and all the messy things that come with it....young heartbreak, addiction, family secrets, loss of loved ones, unwanted fame. But it's also a joyful tribute to music and all the love songs we keep hidden within ourselves until the moment is right to sing them.
The ink that graces the white space of this novel in verse is chosen, appointed, and then set free to flow melodically with purpose. Solo is beautifully penned by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess. It will take you on a journey from Hollywood to Ghana with Blade Morrison, the song writing, guitar playing, hopeless romantic son of a rock star dad. Solo will tug at your heart strings. As you dive deep, enraptured in verse, lost between the pages..."let the music find you."
I would recommend this book for 8th grade and up. It is Such a gift to fans and new comers alike and will be loved by all.
I absolutely loved this story in its entirety. There is so much raw emotion that makes you think and feel. The music and life lessons throughout this story all come together to touch your heart and soul.
I got so caught up in the poetry and story that I read Solo in one sitting. I loved the narrative structure and the young man with his heart literally on his sleeve. Beneath the surface of a rock and roll redemption story powerful themes run deep.
Kwame Alexander is a favorite of mine and my tween readers. The narrative verse novel is an engaging format for all readers, but it is especially inviting for students who are reluctant readers. Do not let the easy on the eyes format fool you, though, this book (like all Alexander's writing) explores deep, important, worthy ideas. Buy this book. Read this book. Gift this book. You'll be glad you did.
As an adoptee, this story touched me deeply. Following Blade from the life he was given to the life he eventually chooses is a powerful and endearing journey. I read this book as it was announced as the subject matter for the Suffolk Art League Verbal 2 Visual art show this year. I'm excited now to begin creating a work inspired by this moving story.