-Judge's commentary, Writer's Digest Awards Contest
Linkedby Olive Peart
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Linked is great to initiate discussions on diversity, stereotyping and privilege. Same age, same height, same grade—they could have been identical twins, but they were not. Yet they lived in the same imperfect world with overwhelming family problems. Greg’s father had walked out after striking his mother. Steve’s father refused to leave after repeatedly abusing his mother. Each boy, in his own way, was begging for help. They lived in different homes. They had different personalities. One was black and the other was white and they had switched!
-Judge's commentary, Writer's Digest Awards Contest
–Chris Phillips :Word Coach" (Sandy Springs, GA 30328)
Linked is a fast-moving story. There’s no long lingering thoughts and diatribes. But the thoughts that the tale in
- Demarche Publishing LLC
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Meet the Author
Olive Peart has navigated different school systems with her three children and Linked reflects what she saw, heard and experienced. An author, an educator and a radiographer, Olive writes regular columns for radiologic journals and newsmagazines. She is also the author of the young adult novel The Intruders. Her other published books are: Spanish for Professionals in Radiology; Lange Mammography Examination; and Mammography and Breast Imaging-Just the Facts.
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Olive Peart certainly knows her teenagers, and she knows the segregated high school world of cliques and misunderstandings. Linked tells the tale of two teens, one black, one white, whose lives are oddly similar despite their obvious differences. Unfortunately for them (or perhaps fortunately) their lives are also linked. When family problems stretch relationships with those they love to breaking point, this curious link between two boys who've never even met grows suddenly strong. The author handles the curious relationships formed when two boys switch bodies in a fun, relatively convincing, and surprisingly intricate style. Each can feel the others' pain. Both feel betrayal. And each views his neighbor's world through a mixture of pre-conceived ideas and the fresh eyes needed to shed light. "I don't want to be black," says one. "I don't want to be white." With true teenage flexibility, they forge ahead and find their worlds not so different; their needs and desires almost the same. Resolution comes when both boys learn to respect each others' advice. Then black and white adults come to their families' aid and show themselves in shades of pre-conceived prejudice too. The boys are left to guide and build on what they've learned. Linked is a fast-moving story. There's no long lingering thoughts and diatribes. But the thoughts that the tale inspires linger long after the telling. I'm grateful to the DeMarche Publishing for letting me read this, a fun teenage novel, with a neat mix of action, science fiction and social science, and some wise lessons to learn.
"Linked" by Olive Peart ISBN 978-0-9823077-0-0 Review by Chris Phillips What does it feel like to be someone else? What happens if one person changed into another's body? Peart has written a young adult novel about just that. She takes the two protagonists, Steve and Greg, through this exchange. Greg is a sophomore in a public school. His mother is raising her two sons alone in an apartment. Steve is a sophomore in a private school. His mother is raising him with the help of his stepfather in an affluent neighborhood. One night Greg dreams of a vicious attack by Steve's stepfather on Steve. Is it real? Does it really happen? He doesn't know until the next time, when instead of just dreaming it he finds that he is living it. Through a process undisclosed, Greg occupies Steve's body and vice versa. After an adjustment by both boys, they begin to discover that they will have to live each other's lives for at least a time. Greg's father has left after a fight. Steve and his mother are enduring an abusive relationship. Both have problems and neither knows how to fix them. Will it help if Greg makes the tough decisions that Steve fears? Will it help if Steve resolves Greg's problems? And does it matter that Greg is black and Steve is white? Finally, will they ever change back? The story is consistent and wonderfully enlightening. There is glimpse after glimpse into the interactions between these two disparate but strangely similar young men trying to get by in life. The adventures are very engrossing and will keep the reader wanting to read just one more page after another. Peart shows a gentle understanding of race issues and identity issues among adolescent males. Although the premise might seem far-fetched, the plot is consistent throughout and the characters maintain a very balanced development. This book is highly recommended for any young adult readers, for their parents and for anyone wanting to relive the struggles of a teenager with a twist. Published by Demarche Publishing, (www.demarchepublishing.com) ($7.95 USD SRP/Amazon $7.95 USD) Reviewer received book from the publisher.
Definitely recommended for children in middle school and older. I have students in a fourth grade class who enjoyed it but had a hard time understanding some of the concepts. The story will spark discussions about race and dealing with personal issues. Also making the right choices and how sometimes we need to look at problems with a new set of eyes.