Author: Kwame Alexander
Best For: 7th grade and up
My take: I really enjoy Kwame’s poetic style of writing, so I was excited when Solo hit bookstores. Blade Morrison is the main character and aside from dealing with the typical drama of being a teenager, he also has to navigate his hectic family life. Blade’s father, Rutherford, is a has-been rock-and-roll legend who struggles with staying sober and always seems to inflict pain and drama into Blade’s life.
The only good aspect of Blade’s life is his girlfriend, Chapel. That is, until their secret romance is short-lived when Chapel’s parents (who have forbidden her to see Blade) find out they have been sneaking around.
Blade seeks solace in Robert, a musician and mentor, who is often the father Blade always wanted, but never had. When Blade receives some shocking news about his past, he sets off on a solo trip to Ghana where he hopes to find answers that bring clarity to his complicated life. However, things don’t go as planned when Blade’s father surprisingly shows up in Ghana.
While on his journey, Blade learns important lessons about life, love, friendship and family.
Bottom Line: Even though this book is 400+ pages, I read it in about a day. The story is enthralling and I suspect teens everywhere will love it. Get a few copies for your library.