On Sale: 2019-07-23
From award-winning and bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Solo, the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who is being crushed between the scathing tabloids exposing his former rock-star-father’s addictions and a protected secret that threatens his own identity. The answers to his past and future change everything he thought to be true.
About the Book
Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess is a New York Times bestseller! Kirkus Reviews said Solo is, “A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.” Through the story of a young Black man searching for answers about his life, Solo empowers, engages, and encourages teenagers to move from heartache to healing, burden to blessings, depression to deliverance, and trials to triumphs.
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, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.
In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.
- Is written by New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Book Award-winner Kwame Alexander
- Showcases Kwame’s signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, by exploring what it means to finally go home
- An #OwnVoices novel that features a BIPOC protagonist on a search for his roots and identity
- Received great reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus.
If you enjoy Solo, check out Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess.
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. -- PW
'Hand to music lovers, reluctant readers, fans of spoken word poetry, those who appreciate Alexander's work, or anyone seeking a tale of self-discovery.'
'From the lyric verse to the driving beat of the storytelling, this book is music, and beautiful music.'
'A rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll.'
'A contemporary hero's journey, brilliantly told.'
'A gorgeously lyrical and passionate meditation on family and identity. Solo is Kwame Alexander at his finest.'
- ISBN: 9780310761884
- ISBN 10: 0310761883
- Imprint: Blink
- On Sale: 2019-07-23
- Pages: 464
- List Price: $14.99
- Publisher: Blink
- Publication Date: 2019-07-23
- Category 1 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Novels in Verse
- Category 2 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / General (see also headings under Family)
- Category 3 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Diversity & Multicultural
- Category 4 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Literary
- Category 5 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Parents