Inspired by the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April, I have decided to blog about books for the month of June. I will be sharing tidbits about my own books and the other books on the Catholic Teen Books website.
I am always happy to write about Roland West, Loner. This is my best-selling book, maybe because it won an award from the Catholic Press Association in the teen fiction category. Or maybe because of the awesome story and characters! Okay, I sound a bit too excited about my own book but this was the first story I ever wrote. Sure, it went through tons of rewrites and revisions, many other authors helped critique, beta read and edit it, and it looks only vaguely similar to the original story, but hey…. It’s my baby!
About the Book:
Roland West, Loner by Theresa Linden is a contemporary Christian story of a fourteen-year-old boy who finds himself friendless at a new school and the subject of cruel rumors. Despised by older twin brothers, he feels utterly alone but not without hope. If he can avoid his brothers while his father is away, he might have a solution to his problem.When his brothers lock him away, having a plan of their own, he gets rescued by an unlikely pair: a neighboring autistic boy and his brother. Struggling to trust his new friends, secrets, rumors, lies, and an unusual inheritance put him on a journey that just might have the power to change the life of this loner.
RolandWest, Loner addresses loneliness, sibling relationships,facing fears, autism, and the Communion of the Saints.
I love the main character in this story. Roland West is fourteen years old, very shy, and friendless. But he does live in a cool, castle-type house complete with battlements, turrets, and a secret passageway.
But my favorite character is the younger brother of a kid Roland just met. The younger brother’s name is Toby and he has a few unique interests. Toby likes to spin like a top, like a little kid might do but for a much longer time. Toby also likes keys, so if anyone leaves a key lying around it just might end up in his hidden collection. Toby also likes to fish, and if he can’t get out to do it, he will fill the bathtub to the brim and grab a fishing pole! And Toby likes to see light reflected off of surfaces like buildings, his brother’s blond hair, or the boulders on the Wests’ private property.
Toby’s brother is freaked out when Toby sneaks onto the West’s property for a closer look, but Roland is pretty happy about it. Toby ends up rescuing him from a tight situation.
You may have guess it: Toby has autism. And the reason I love him so much is because he was based on my oldest son. So all of the challenges, obsessions, conflict and joy concerning this character are based on our real life experiences.
Since it would be weird to write a review of my own book, I’ll post a couple of review snippets from Amazon.
“Great story about a lonely boy, treated harshly by his brothers who finds his way and eventually finds their respect. I think this would make a great read for middle school kids.”
“If I was allowed to choose only one novel this year that was not only sheer delight to read, but also had the most profound impact on my spiritual life, it would be – without a shadow of a doubt – “Roland West, Loner” by Theresa Linden. I wish I could give this book to every Catholic teen I know (and their parents too!). At first glance, the story is on a purely natural level: a teenage boy, alone and friendless in a new school, trying to cope with his cruel older brothers. But the plot swiftly moves into a new and unexpected realm – that of the supernatural – sweeping the reader way beyond the halls of River Run High and plunging straight into the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. The way Linden accomplishes this will take your breath away.“
This book has the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.
Want to learn more about Theresa Linden and her books?