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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Heavy Hitter in Disguise: Tent City Princess by Lynn Anns

Hello there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to bring you whatever is tantalizing her reading palette at the moment…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today’s featured title is short, not-that-sweet, somewhat heavy hitting and MEMORABLE.  It takes an issue from the here and now that you may or may not be aware of and forces it into the limelight…with grace.  Part of the tact I’m certain is from the author’s own writing abilities but the other…from the first hand viewpoints she gathered from those that have actually been or even currently are where she is about to take us.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present today’s unassuming star and book of choice…


About the book….
Some things you keep secret from everyone...
Having to move into a tent after the bank repossesses your family house is definitely one of them. Unfortunately, fifteen-year-old Kennedy is now faced with a choice. The City Council might tear down the tent city where she lives. Stepping forward to save her home could cost Kennedy her friends, her boyfriend Rico, and the Battelle Young Leaders program internship that she worked all year to attain.
Should she stand up for what is right...even if it means standing alone?


This one really hits close to home.
The economy has been on a downward swing for a while, despite what you may have heard on any given nationwide news station.  Thanks to hard times and overspending in order to simply make ends meet, many families live paycheck to paycheck.  It wouldn’t take much to bring the “American dream” crashing down around us all.  Hence the situation here.

Kennedy is your normal average girl; she has hopes, dreams, and aspirations.  If we were neighbors in life, I’d certainly call her friend.  Her brother has more of the same goals, though right now getting into mischief is his “thing”…I’d blame the age.  Her mother and father are hard working folks, striving to provide the best life has to offer to their offspring both materially and emotionally.  Life wasn’t perfect, but it was good, sound, complete for the moment.  The problem is…the moment passed.  That window of golden opportunity was taken but slipped out of reach with a single shift of fate.  Through no fault of his own, the father loses his job and in turn begins a slow spiral into depression.  Now I know it’s hard, but can you really blame him?  Ah, I hear a resounding no, but consider other sides…

I myself had a hard time separating my feelings on it because as I said, it hit really close to home.  To some degree in my mind it’s a pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps sorta situation and take anything you can get until you can get back on your feet.  Would they have still lost everything?  More than likely.  Would they’ve at least been able to keep a solid roof over their heads…while there’s no way to really say, I’d like to think so.  This is one of those reads that will raise all sorts of feelings, questions, and most importantly….awareness.  What I appreciated about the read is the openness and tact with which her plight as well as that of her family and neighbors was presented.  Kennedy could have merely blended into the background, bided her time and stayed anonymous as she was planning to, but once persuaded by the actions of others, once discovering the power of her own voice, there was no going back.  For better or worse, the outcome at the very least proved that one among many is still one to be counted.

Recommended read for teen readers and beyond.  It’s a story for the here, the now, and one that will hopefully inspire at least some of those in points of higher influence to take some action to change the fates of those that did not choose this lot in life.  On that note, I hope it inspires YOU as well to give a helping hand to those in need in your own community…oh and just because they’re not standing on a corner with a sign, or frequenting the homeless shelter, DOESN’T mean they are doing fine.  Use your eyes.  Use your heart.  Give when and where you can.  No matter how much or how little, if it’s of your time or of your wallet, it all matters; it all makes a difference.

Review copy received courtesy of author Lynn Anns.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her other works, be sure to seek her out online.  This title is available now via Lucky Marble Books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing.  Final note, readers....the author also informed me that..." The royalties from this book have been (and are being) donated to support this cause - the biggest chunk going to buying juice boxes, diaper cream, diaper wipes and even a holiday meal (Easter dinner) for homeless women and their children through a program called Amethyst here in Columbus Ohio."  So if you needed any additional reasons to check this one out, there you go.

Until next time…happy reading!


Suzanne said...

Terrific review! Full disclosure: I know the author. But I think I'm still allowed to say that you nailed what is greatest about this book: it takes an issue most of us would like to think is very remote from our lives, and brings it close to home through the character of Kennedy, a regular, likable character with middle class values who could be the girl next door. Until the foreclosure. I'm glad you are expanding the audience for this important book.

Gina R said...

Suzanne: Thank you! I agree. .. Kennedy was a great "vehicle" for this story.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Wow. Sounds like an amazing read. Loving the cover too. Thank you!

Nayuleska said...

Book sounds so great that I had to nab a copy straight away! Might need to take my time reading it due to content, but looks and sounds an insightful read.

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