13-Year-Old Blind Wrestler Max Lamm

Inspiring teen – 13 year old blind wrestler Max Lamm is wrestling’s amazing student athlete:

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As reported in the Bleacher Report, “Max Lamm is a 13-year-old wrestler from Mars, Pennsylvania with an incredible story. He lost his sight as a result of cancerous tumors that developed in both eyes when he was an infant. Despite being unable to see, Max finished last season with a 10-1 record, dominated his weight class in a regional summer tournament and managed to win his school’s geography bee.”

Click on the video to see his remarkable story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Books can Change Lives

Reversal, YA novel by Eric Linne, changes livesEvery once in a while, I remember why I love being a writer.  My modest goal is to have my books read by as many people as possible, to get good constructive feedback from readers and periodically hear how my book touched somebody’s life in a positive way.  I had one of those moments a few days ago.

I had sent out a single book to a reader who wanted a copy for her daughter, but could not afford the bookstore or online price.  After a few weeks, I got a private message on Facebook from the reader’s mother, expressing how much the book meant to her daughter.

The mother explained that my book had changed her daughter’s life.  The girl, who is overcoming a slight learning disability, struggled with the story at first, but persevered to the end and loved the main character, Kayla Burbadge.  She said that after reading Reversal, her daughter is becoming more independent and is less reliant on others for help.  She went on to explain that the daughter has been willing to challenge herself to participate in activities that she’d previously been fearful of.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Mom explained that for the first time ever, the young girl is looking forward to returning to school in the fall (middle school, no less)!

So while riches, movie deals and critical acclaim may elude the majority of working writers, every once in a while, you get a reminder of what is really important about this work – having the ability and opportunity to positively impact a young person’s life.    

4 Star Book Review of Reversal

Reversal YA novel review by Once Upon a YA Book

“A refreshing viewpoint that addresses females participating in male-dominated sports”. The latest book reviewer gives Reversal, the YA novel by Eric Linne, 4 Stars.

Here’s the latest Goodreads Book Review about Reversal, as reviewed on  Kimber Wheaton’s blog that showcases reviews of Young Adult and New Adult books.

Why they liked it

Christy wrote: “I enjoyed  this story. I empathized for Kayla and her situation. The author nailed her internal struggle perfectly. Lots of issues were well addressed in this book. I followed Kayla as she encountered prejudice, loss, depression, bullying, war veterans and their stories, foster children, troubled youth, ethnic diversity, culture shock (big city life to small town life), abuse, and much more.

Most of the characters were very well thought-out. 

You don’t often see a book that addresses females participating in male-dominated sports. It is a refreshing viewpoint. I also liked that Kayla began to heal from her grieving. She began to find beauty and laughter and love in her life again. I appreciate the author’s voice, and the way he brought everything together.”

What they questioned

The reviewer “didn’t get a good sense of Kayla’s physical features, though. What color was her hair? Her eyes? I always visualize characters as I am reading, but her face was fuzzy. I would have liked a bit more about Hollis and Arthur and their stories as well. Why is Arthur afraid of a few teammates? Why does Hollis follow Kayla around so much? If Hollis likes her, why isn’t he showing it more?”

The full Review

To read the entire book review, click here.

Book Review of Reversal by Eric Linne: Shelbyville News March 28, 2014

Reversal by Eric Linne Book Review in Shelbyville News

The article was submitted by Carolyn Statler of Three Sisters Books and Gifts:

“Some of you may know Eric Linne, a former Shelbyville resident.  He is the author of a new book, Reversal.  The target audience is young adult/teen and the protagonist is a fourteen-year-old girl.  However, as many of you have discovered, our young adult section is a place to find many great books that adults will enjoy.  Reversal is one of those books.

Reversal is the story of Kayla who has experienced a tragic loss when her parents are killed in an automobile accident.  The closest family she has is a cousin of her father’s who agrees to take her in.  This is not a family she knows well and a family already strapped for money and three children of their own.  Moving to their home also entails leaving Chicago where she has always lived and taking up residence in the attic of her new home in the little fictional town of Sheffield, Indiana.  Consumed by grief and anger, Kayla is having a great deal of trouble adjusting to her new life.

The story begins in a sort of “Cinderella” fashion.  Kayla is given an unfinished attic room which was never intended to be a bedroom complete with a pull-down ladder to reach it.  She is given many chores including feeding two ferocious dogs.  The two older children seem to dislike her heartily (although the youngest seems to like her a lot) and her sort-of step-mother appears to be constantly annoyed at Kayla’s very presence.  Add to the pressures at home are the pressures of being a new kid at school, especially when you resent being there at all.

Linne does a wonderful job of portraying life in a small Midwestern high school.  You can almost experience the sounds and smells.  Nothing ever quite smells like a school.  Linne also captures the character of Kayla as she moves from grief and resentment to healing and acceptance.  One of the points that LInne makes more than once which should be helpful to teen readers is that there are always some adults at any school who are willing to listen and truly want to help.  I think the story is realistic in that Kayla does not want to ask for help and is most reluctant to accept it when it is offered.  Linne has sympathetically and with amazing understanding given voice to a fourteen-year-old girl.

Local readers will enjoy the many direct and oblique references to Shelbyville and Shelby County.  I will leave it to readers to discover those references themselves.

Linne has bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.  H e has been a consultant for community health centers and director of home care for the American Hospital Association.  He wrote a screen play, The Bears of Blue River, based on the book of the same title.  Reversal grew out of his Master’s thesis in children’s literature.

Linne will be signing his book at Three Sisters Books & Gifts, 7 Public Square, this Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Please stop in to greet him and buy a copy of his book.  Reversal is published by CreateSpace and retails for $13.99.”

 

 

 

YA Author Eric Linne Signing Reversal March 29, 2014

Reversal by Eric Linne as seen in South Park LifeEric Linne will be signing his YA novel Reversal at Three Sisters Books on March 29th from 11 to 1. If you’re in the Shelbyville, IN area, drop by and have a chance to talk with Eric about his new book.

The novel is about a midwestern teen, Kayla Burbadge, living in a small Indiana farm town.  As her life spirals downward, an unlikely mentor steps in and offers Kayla a challenge – to join the high school all-male wrestling team.   

This “unconventional choice of a high school sport leads her on a path towards friendship and self discovery. I urge you to read this book.” WC, Santa Rosa, CA

IU’s Robert H McKinney Law School Alumni Publication Showcases YA Novelist Eric Linne

The following is an excerpt of an article in Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law’s recent alumni publication that showcases Eric’s first YA novel, Reversal.

Eric Linne, ’81, Releases His First Novel Completed for Master’s Thesis in English

Eric LinneEric Linne, ’81, has become a published author with the release of his novel for young adults titled “Reversal.” It’s the story of a recently orphaned and displaced 14-year-old girl who finds redemption by being a part of her school’s all-boy wrestling team. Linne completed the book as his master’s thesis in English at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. It’s available for purchase on Linne’s website, or at Amazon…. To read the entire article, click here.

Takedown on Ethics from High School Wrestling

Ethics and WrestlingIn my son’s first high school wrestling match in an important tournament last weekend, a rather strange thing happened.  Strange for a wrestling match, at least. 

At one point in the match, with the score tied and my son in control of his opponent, my son let the other boy up, pointed to the kid’s face and looked at the ref in question.  The ref signaled the boys to continue wrestling.  While my son was looking at the ref, the other boy scored a takedown and ended up winning the match by one point.

When the match was over and I’d given my son a cooling off period (essential, as any wrestling parent will tell you) I approached my son and asked him what happened.  He said that the boy screamed and then shouted, “My eye!”  So he let the boy up so that the ref could stop the match for an injury timeout.  But in this instance, the ref either didn’t see an injury or didn’t feel that the injury was serious enough to stop the match.  Also, my son’s decision to let the boy up may have cost him an otherwise winnable match in an important competition

Takedown on Ethics via the High School Wrestling Mat

After my son walked off to join his teammates, I started to think of a parent’s ethical obligations in a situation like this.  Should I have encouraged him to ignore the boy’s cries and continue wrestling until the referee stopped them?  Or should I have congratulated him for deciding that the other wrestler’s eyesight is more important than a high school wrestling match?  I should mention that my son is 17 years old, a high school senior and in his final year of competing in wrestling (having decided to forgo competing in college).

As it is, I took the third route.  I simply said, “Good match” and walked back to join our group of parents.

One of the hardest jobs as a parent is to realize that at a certain age, our children have internalized the value system that will guide them through the myriad of ethical choices that they will face as adults.  In this instance, my son didn’t need me to tell him whether his choice was right or wrong.  During a heated competition, he used his own ethical compass and decided to err on the side of avoiding further injury to his opponent .  At the time, he didn’t know that this decision would cost him the match.  And I doubt that he would have acted differently had he known that.

So my advice in this instance is to myself (and maybe any other parents of athletes reading this).  Once your kids reach a certain age, trust them to do the right thing.  Most of the time, you’ll be proud of their decisions. And you’ll feel like you’ve done an OK job as a parent. That’s my advice to myself and I’m sticking with it!

A Grueling December for Charlotte, NC High School Wrestlers

High School Wrestling in Charlotte NC Rigors by Eric Linne, Author of ReversalOnce wrestling season starts in the Charlotte, NC area, things take off with a bang.  Many teams try to squeeze in 50 or more matches for their wrestlers before tournament time rolls around in late February.  One of the more popular ways to maximize the number of matches for a wrestler is with multi-day dual meets.  These meets, in which athletes wrestle as many as 10 matches over two days, are grueling affairs for the competitors. 

Grueling Schedule for High School Wrestlers

To wrestle the maximum number of matches in a day (5) is tough.  But to compete in 5 match days back-to-back can be brutal.  Often wrestlers are still competing at  10 or 11 p.m. at night, a time when their non-wrestling friends may be considering sleep (but probably not).  Then to board a bus at 6:30 a.m. the following day to hit the mat at 8 am takes a level of fortitude that is hard for a non-wrestler to imagine.  

But the grueling days prepare the most competitive wrestlers well for the pressure of the all-important state tournament.  

So when February rolls around in Charlotte and venues across North Carolina, three or four matches in one day seems like a walk in the park.  But the ground work for those competitions get laid in old drafty gyms throughout the state, after dark, on cold December nights.