The Kid Who Killed Cole Hardt

136p. Latah Bks. Oct. 2018. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780999707548.
Gr 8 Up—Easy to pick up and hard to put down, this quick read is short on surprises, but long on wisdom and heart. Lacking any other potential talent, the only thing Ryan thinks can bring him the fame and fortune he desires is his writing. Up until recently, it was mostly funny stories. Then his English teacher introduces the class to Cole Hardt's poetry, and Ryan discovers his destined path to stardom. As part of a program that allows high school students to take college courses, Ryan has become the poetry editor for the community college literary magazine. When his idol, Hardt, comes to town for a reading, Ryan is chosen to be the author's chauffeur. Ryan begs to use his father's prized Corvette for the event, and promptly crashes it on the way to an after party. Badly injured and trapped in the wrecked vehicle off a remote mountain road, Ryan and Hardt talk to take their minds off the pain. As he gets to know Hardt, Ryan discovers the fallacies in his own motivations and perceptions. But it's not until Hardt's injuries take a life-threatening turn that Ryan must put to the test his formerly less-than-stellar character.
VERDICT A welcome addition to reluctant readers' shelves.

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