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Tom Kepler lives a minimum of three lives in one: his life as a writer, his life as a school teacher, and his life as a publisher of Wise Moon Books. These enterprises are chronicled on his blog at tomkeplerswritingblog.com.
Tom Kepler Writing
Tom has published three books, a fantasy novel, The Stone Dragon; a young adult novel, Love Ya Like a Sister; and a small book of poetry, Bare Ruined Choirs. Besides publishing on paper, he is also focusing on publishing online, including poetry at Every Day Poets and flash fiction at Metazen, Every Day Fiction, and 365tomorrows.
Tom Kepler, Classroom Teacher
Having taught in the classroom for over thirty years, grades 7-12, his writing reflects much of what he has observed: young people raising themselves, struggling to make the right choices, helping one another, and usually finding a way to get through to the place and person they want to be. "I've learned as much as a teacher as I've given my students. Growing up is truly a heroic journey."
Wise Moon Books
Tom "authenticated" his poetry by publishing in literary little magazines prior to publishing Bare Ruined Choirs via Wise Moon Books. He also publishes in online zines to establish himself as an author accepted by the gatekeepers of the industry. His novels are a tougher task, though, and as he seeks publication in the traditional publishing world, he is also learning and using the new technologies to make his books available, not only to the general reading public but also to his students. "There are two things I can pass to my students. I can hand them one of my published books, and I can also give them the knowledge of how they can publish their own writing. The book may impress them, but the knowledge empowers them."
Find Tom Kepler also on Facebook at Tom Kepler Writing/Wise Moon Books. Links are available at his blog, tomkeplerswritingblog.com. Click "like" or "follow" to keep current with his writing adventures.
on March 24, 2011 :
A sweet, well written and honest story about learning and growing up. While the book is put across almost as one teenage boy’s problems with girls, it actually becomes so much more than that. While the girls do play their own important role I felt like the book was more about the family and the self-awareness that comes with growing up. The focus here was definitely more on the development of the characters rather than the plot. Kepler perfectly paced the novel to introduce Randy through his experience and from that point allowed him to tell his own story, integrating the lives of the other characters.
I loved the development of all the relationships in the book, each was given it’s opportunity to prove itself and contribute to the overall development of Randy as himself, but I particularly enjoyed the connection between Randy and Gwen, the two essentially parentless kids who banded together to make the best of a bad situation. My favorite character though was Jonas, the 95 year old honorary grandfather to Randy, and pretty much everyone else. I felt that he added some much need blunt honesty and truth to counterbalance the teen drama. I also appreciated Hope, Gwen’s little sister, who gave everyone an indirect but solid connection that would have otherwise been lacking.
Lisa - baffledbooks.com
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on March 23, 2011 :
I normally don't like love triangles, especially when it's completely deliberate. However, I have to make an exception for Love Ya Like A Sister. The way Tom Kepler writes the relationships makes you understand it in ways that I think I never really understood it before.
The characters in this book are great in the way that you can relate to them and most of their actions match them well. I think that I understood Randy better than I did the girls, but I think that's to be expected from the main character. My heart was pretty much with Randy the whole time, even when I wanted to slap him silly for some of his actions. Having said that, I wish I knew the girls a little better so I could understand them completely. Some moments had me scratching my head in confusion.
The lack of parenting was a little mind-boggling, but without that... we don't have a story. And it's a great one. The story moves along smoothly with no hiccups and plenty of drama to go around! This was a quick read, though not too quick that you didn't get enough story. The resolution fit the bill for this one, and you finished feeling pretty satisfied as a whole. Overall, this was an enjoyable read that would be good for any YA fan that likes a good contemporary read.
- Originally Posted @ Missy's Reads & Reviews
(reviewed the day of purchase)