Gordon Jack has wanted to be a novelist since he was a kid. Â He ranked it right up there with astronaut and professional dog walker on one of those Â career proclivity assessments. Didn’t mention president, thank goodness. We’d suspect pizza delivery guy might have ranked had he thought of it. He did become a dog walker, in fact. More recently and currently a high school english teacher. And now an author, published by HarperTeen. Not bad!
Did we mention there will be pizza? Gordon has lived in the neighborhood with his wife & kids for a good long time, so we imagine he has a take on where to find good ones.
Here are a couple of reviews:
After getting stoned and causing a ruckus at a school assembly, Lawrence Barry avoids expulsion by cutting a deal with his guidance counselor to mentor Spencer, a Norwegian freshman transfer student. Up to this point, Lawrenceâ€™s lifeâ€™s aim had been â€œto sit around [with his friends], smoke pot, and play video games.â€ Now he has to focus, change his habits, and become â€œa man with a purpose.â€ Thatâ€™s easier said than done, especially when the whole school thinks heâ€™s out to sabotage homecoming and his on-again, off-again ex wants to take him to the dance in a dog collar. This laugh-out-loud YA debut offers a profound meditation on the narrow definitions of â€œnormal,â€ how â€œto stand out and simultaneously blend in,â€ and how growing up means valuing difference and looking at the world with more self-aware eyes. Some of the funniest scenes include a battle for the ages between vampires and LARPers (live action role-players). VERDICT Highly recommended for YA readers looking for a novel with large doses of humor and a narrative rooted in personal growth and self-awareness. – School Library Journal
The boomerang effect is a social psychology concept describing how attempts to persuade others often result in them adopting the opposite stanceâ€”and Lawrence Barry is about to learn all about it. On the brink of expulsion, he decides to stop smoking weed and imbibing alcohol and start trying to be a better person (mostly to avoid exile at a military academy). This starts with helping out his clueless buddy, Spencer, acclimate to high-school lifeâ€”how to be popular, how to look cool, and most of all, how to â€œbe normal.â€ Unfortunately, the efforts only lead Lawrence to become the prime suspect in the vandalism of the schoolâ€™s homecoming floats. Itâ€™s up to the two to figure out who is framing him and why. Jackâ€™s impeccable comedic timing and ear for dialogue make this an irresistible, absurdist romp with a lovable Ferris Buellerâ€“type raconteur at its center. Even so, Jack manages to explore serious topics like drug abuse, sex, racism, sexism, and ableism through an honest and multidimensional lens that teen readers will appreciate. – Booklist
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site