Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Teen Tuesday and Review: Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. Unabridged 3audiobook. 4 hrs. 2 min. Narrated by Kwame Alexander with Randy Preston. Zondervan, 2017. 9780310761891. (Review from audio borrowed from cloud library.)
In this free verse collaborative effort, Alexander turns from sports to music. Blade Morrison is the seventeen-year-old youngest son of a rock star father who has been tabloid fodder thanks to his addictions and outrageous behavior. All Blade wants is to write music and be with his girlfriend, Chapel. But when his dad embarrasses him at his high school graduation and Chapel betrays him and his sister reveals a life-changing family secret, Blade has had enough. He heads to Ghana in search of some answers and distance from his family.
While Alexander's blank verse flows and is easy to read, hearing the poet read his own work is a real treat. Interspersed throughout are album titles, singers and record producers listed. Alexander even manages to make them sound like poems. He reads with energy and clarity and much emotion. Blade is a sympathetic character in search of identity. The original music performed by Randy Preston added depth. I highly recommend reading this with your ears!