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Cover image for Solo
Title:
Solo
ISBN:
9781520074474
Edition:
Unabridged.
Physical Description:
4 audio discs (4 hr., 2 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from label.

Compact discs.
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Genre:
Added Author:
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Blade endeavors to resolve painful issues from his past and navigate the challenges of his former rockstar father's addictions, scathing tabloid rumors, and a protected secret that threatens his own identity. After discovering a family secret, he begins a journey that takes him to Ghana, where he discovers the power of friendship, family, community, and reconciliation.
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Summary

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison knows the life of a rock star isn't really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can't make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun-including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother-who died when Blade was nine-and the ruin that his father's washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own. But he's not completely alone: he's got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert, the secret love of his girlfriend, Chapel, and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade-that is, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides that the only way that he wi ll be able to understan


Author Notes

Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, speaker, and performer. His books include And Then You Know: New and Selected Poems, Crush: Love Poems, Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, and Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band. He won the 2015 John Newbery Medal for his bestselling novel The Crossover. Since 2006, his Book-in-a-Day writing and publishing program has created more than 2500 student authors in 50 schools across the U.S., and in Canada and the Caribbean.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Betrayed by those closest to him and stunned by a family secret, 17-year-old Blade Morrison flees his comfortable but chaotic life as the son of a drug-addicted rock star. Seeking answers and closure, Blade travels to the Ghanaian village of Konko, where he gains new perspective on family and belonging. Writing in free verse, Alexander and Hess, who recently collaborated on Animal Ark, strongly communicate Blade's frustration and disappointment ("I have taken for granted/ the palm trees of Cali... planted by Spanish missionaries/ in the 18th century.... They don't belong here./ And neither do I"). Lyrics from Blade's songs (and interspersed references to songs from Lenny Kravitz, Metallica, and others) emphasize the importance of music in his life, both as a link to his family and as a way to express himself. Blade's interactions with his father, a Ghanaian young woman named Joy, and a child named Sia are especially poignant, so much so that these secondary characters can draw focus. But many readers will identify with Blade's struggle to find his place in a family where he feels like an outsider. Ages 13-up. Agent: Arielle Eckstut, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, son of a famous rocker, just wants to avoid the attention his family receives for his father's drug-and-alcohol-fueled bad behavior. When a family secret is revealed, further alienating Blade, the Hollywood-raised teen embarks on a life-altering trip to Ghana. Alexander's verse, co-written with Hess, evokes the moody emotions of Blade's favorite real-life rock ballads (lyrics to which are interspersed). (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Blade Morrison begins his story by disclosing, I am / the wretched son / of a poor / rich man. Master storytellers and poets Alexander (The Crossover, 2014) and Hess (The Day I Met the Nuts, 2009) have joined forces to pen a rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll. The only things 17-year-old Blade can count on as the wealthy but neglected son of famously erratic rock god Rutherford Morrison are his soulful guitar ballads and his girlfriend, Chapel. When Rutherford disappoints Blade one time too many and they end up fighting, Blade's sister reveals a long-guarded family secret. Suddenly the music leaves him; when Chapel is no longer there to anchor him either, Blade sets out to discover more about his own past. A mix tape of classic rock hits guides him from Los Angeles all the way to the small village of Konko, Ghana, where a delay in his journey brings him unexpected fulfillment. Scattered throughout the novel in verse are some of Blade's original rock ballads, though every poem feels like a song, pulsing with Alexander's signature lyrical style. Blade ends up finding much more than what he expects: self-discovery, community, and a deeper understanding of what family means. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Alexander has a history of appealing to teens of all sorts, and a Newbery to his name; don't expect this collaboration to stay on shelves long.--Kling, Caitlin Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison is the son of a washed-up musician father who finds his way out of rehab and into the tabloids on a regular basis. As Blade graduates high school and looks forward to college, he discovers a long-buried secret that changes his life forever. Told in poetic verse interspersed with original songs and famous song lyrics, this is a unique story of family, forgiveness, and faith. From Aretha Franklin to Metallica, with stops in Los Angeles and Ghana, this book covers a lot of territory, both figuratively and literally. The plot is all over the map with a secret love gone awry, a failed relationship between father and son, and a far-fetched journey across the world. Alexander narrates his own work and artfully accentuates the poetic verse. Because of his pacing and tone, it is often difficult to distinguish which character is speaking or where a verse begins and ends. Original songs are sprinkled throughout the reading, and a separate disc is devoted to them. VERDICT Despite some holes in the plot and thin character development, Alexander's prose is beautifully written and will appeal to avid and reluctant readers alike.-April Everett, Rowan County Information Technology, NC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

The 17-year-old son of a troubled rock star is determined to find his own way in life and love.On the verge of adulthood, Blade Morrison wants to leave his father's bad-boy reputation for drug-and-alcohol-induced antics and his sister's edgy lifestyle behind. The death of his mother 10 years ago left them all without an anchor. Named for the black superhero, Blade shares his family's connection to music but resents the paparazzi that prevent him from having an open relationship with the girl that he loves. However, there is one secret even Blade is unaware of, and when his sister reveals the truth of his heritage during a bitter fight, Blade is stunned. When he finally gains some measure of equilibrium, he decides to investigate, embarking on a search that will lead him to a small, remote village in Ghana. Along the way, he meets people with a sense of purpose, especially Joy, a young Ghanaian who helps him despite her suspicions of Americans. This rich novel in verse is full of the music that forms its core. In addition to Alexander and co-author Hess' skilled use of language, references to classic rock songs abound. Secondary characters add texture to the story: does his girlfriend have real feelings for Blade? Is there more to his father than his inability to stay clean and sober? At the center is Blade, fully realized and achingly real in his pain and confusion. A contemporary hero's journey, brilliantly told. (Verse fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


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