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Solo

Solo
Kwame Alexander
Blink, 2017
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
When the heart gets lost, let the music find you.

Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming—like many—that Blade will become just like his father.

In reality, the only thing Blade has in common with Rutherford is the music that lives inside them. But not even the songs that flow through Blade’s soul are enough when he’s faced with two unimaginable realities: the threat of losing Chapel forever, and the revelation of a long-held family secret, one that leaves him questioning everything he thought was true. All that remains is a letter and a ticket to Ghana—both of which could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.

I realize that Solo is about music, but the silhouette on the cover, to me, looks like the main character is about to take off running - not perform on stage. I think he needs a microphone in his right hand. Or the guitar needs to be a silhouette, too.

Anyway.

I enjoyed Solo once I figured out that it was NOT about a runner. Before that, I was just confused. Blade, the main character, has challenges in his life that make for an interesting story. Teens will empathize and be swept up in the story. Also, I liked how music was tied in to the poetry. It was genius and a great way to get younger people interested in poetry. Wonderful!

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