Read The Facts Speak for Themselves by Brock Cole Free Online
Book Title: The Facts Speak for Themselves|
The author of the book: Brock Cole
Edition: Front Street, Incorporated
The size of the: 941 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: March 1st 2006
ISBN 13: 9781932425710
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 3.6
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How to describe Brock Cole's brilliant new young-adult novel, "The Facts Speak for Themselves?" Here's how the author himself did it in a recent magazine interview: "The Facts [Speak for Themselves?"] starts with a murder and the witness to the murder is a 13-year-old girl. In the initial interrogations, it becomes clear that she was sexually involved with the man who was murdered."
These are the facts: simple, powerful, and unsparing. But there is more, much more, and it is all recounted for the reader by the girl, Linda, in her own unemotional, matter-of-fact voice. And as she tells us her story, we begin to understand who she is and, more importantly, why she is. The child of a failed marriage, she is the daughter of a woman whose life follows a typical pattern of failure and disappointment, a woman who finally, selfishly, decides to "cease striving." And then it becomes Linda's turn to take charge of her feckless mother and first one and then two little brothersan almost unbearable burden for a child her age. No wonder, as critic Ilene Cooper observes, "Linda craves being taken care of after always being the caretaker, and that's what Joe Greene [the murdered man] does for her."
Sure to be controversial in some quarters -- like Cole's first young-adult novel, "The Goats," which was just challenged in a Terre Haute, Indiana, public school -- "The Facts Speak for Themselves?" is also receiving critical raves, including a full-page, starred review in Booklist magazine. It was also a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award for Young People's Literature 1997, whose judges declared that the book "speaks to the remarkable resilience of the human spirit and its capacity to survive, forgive, and go forward."
Speaking as one of those judges, I continue to be haunted by the cumulative power of Linda's voice and by her stubborn ability to survive. I am also hugely impressed by the brilliance of her creator, Brock Cole, and his extraordinary capacity to care about kids like Linda, whose stories we usually see recounted only in screaming newspaper headlines.
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Read information about the authorBrock Cole was born a year before the Second World War in a small town in Michigan. Because of his father's work, his family moved frequently, but he never regarded these relocations as a hardship.
"I thought of myself as something of an explorer, even though my explorations never took me very far. I had a deep and intimate acquaintance with woodlots, creeks, lakes, back streets, and alleys all over the Midwest."
He attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and received a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. After teaching philosophy for several years at the University of Wisconsin, he began writing and illustrating books for children.
"I had always wanted to write, and I loved to draw. I had small children, who were a wonderful audience. Children's books seemed a perfect fit."
His first book, The King at the Door, was published in 1979. Among his other picture books are The Winter Wren, The Giant's Toe, and Alpha and the Dirty Baby.
He now lives in Buffalo, New York, where his wife, Susan, teaches at the State University of New York. His sons both live in Athens, Georgia. Joshua teaches French history at the University of Georgia, and Tobiah is a painter and works as a waiter. Joshua is married to Kate Tremel, a potter and a teacher, and they have a little boy named Lucas.
Brock Cole's acclaimed first novel, The Goats, was published in 1987. It is set in the Michigan countryside of his childhood and captures the story of two loners' struggle for self-identity and inner strength after being made the targets of a cruel prank. In a Horn Book Magazine editorial, Anita Silvey wrote: "The Goats reaffirms my belief that children's literature is alive and thriving." Betsy Hearne, editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, lauded The Goats as "one of the most important books of the decade."
In Brock Cole's second novel, Celine, sixteen-year-old Celine, a budding artist, is living with her young stepmother, only six years older than Celine herself, while her father is teaching in Europe. Celine dreams of escaping this situation, but she becomes involved with caring for Jake, her seven-year-old neighbor, who is going through his parents' divorce.
Since he began his writing career, Brock Cole and his wife have traveled a good deal, living for one year in Washington and another in Germany, as well as spending frequent summers in Greece and Turkey.
"To be honest, I simply tag along after Susan. It's her research which takes us all over the place. I enjoy it immensely, though. There's something about sitting down to work at a rickety table in a strange city that clears the head. It's the best thing for a writer, or for this one, anyway."
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