Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Boys of the Dark

A story that garnered national attention, this is the harrowing tale of two men who suffered abuses at a reform school in Florida in the 1950s and 60s, and who banded together fifty years later to confront their attackers.

Michael O’McCarthy and Robert W. Straley were teens when they were termed “incorrigible youth” by authorities and ordered to attend the Florida School for Boys. They discovered in Marianna, the “City of Southern Charm,” an immaculately groomed campus that looked more like an idyllic university than a reform school. But hidden behind the gates of the Florida School for Boys was a hell unlike any they could have imagined. The school’s guards and administrators acted as their jailers and tormentors. The boys allegedly bore witness to assault, rape, and possibly even murder.

For fifty years, both men---and countless others like them---carried their torment in silence. But a series of unlikely events brought O’McCarthy, now a successful rights activist, and Straley together, and they became determined to expose the Florida School for Boys for what they believed it to be: a youth prison with a century-long history of abuse. They embarked upon a campaign that would change their lives and inspire others.

Robin Gaby Fisher, a Pulitzer Prize--winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestselling After the Fire, collaborates with Straley and O’McCarthy to offer a riveting account of their harrowing ordeal. The Boys of the Dark goes beyond the story of the two men to expose the truth about a century-old institution and a town that adopted a Nuremberg-like code of secrecy and a government that failed to address its own wrongdoing. What emerges is a tale of strength, resolve, and vindication in the face of the kinds of terror few can imagine.

Praise for The Boys of the Dark
"Haunting and disturbing. The voices of the victims will forever touch my heart. To turn a deaf ear to this type of injustice is to give permission for it to continue. As a people, as a society, we should be outraged." —Jennifer Thompson, coauthor of Picking Cotton

"[The Boys of the Dark] reads seamlessly.... A worthy exploration of a regrettably long-lasting true-crime nightmare." —Kirkus

“This deeply moving story is highly recommended to readers of heart-wrenching memoirs, 20th-century American studies, or true crime.” —Library Journal

To learn more about Robin's work, click here. To purchase, click here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Douglas E. Richards

Douglas E Richards is the author of The Prometheus Project series: fast-paced science fiction thrillers praised by kids, parents, educators, and science fiction enthusiasts alike. He has also written extensively for the award-winning magazine, National Geographic KIDS, with several of his articles appearing in a dozen languages in as many as sixteen countries.

While today's kids have plenty of fantasy to choose from, there is very little hard science fiction available for young readers. Douglas is trying to do his part to remedy this situation. While kids report being glued to the pages of his books (boys, girls, reluctant and advanced readers alike) , numberous adults have reported enjoying them almost as much as threir kids.

To learn more about his work, click here. I also highly recommend his insightful article on the secret to happiness. To read it, click here.