Every 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.
“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.
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.
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.”
Eric 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
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 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.
Fun facts about wrestling for those interested in wrestling and for readers of Reversal, a YA novel by Eric Linne.
Literary references to the sport of wrestling occur as early as in the Iliad, in which Homer recounts the Trojan War of the 13th century BC.] The origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings in France. Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport.
Modern Olympic Roots and Wrestling Styles
Greco-Roman wrestling became an event at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Since 1908, the event has been in every Summer Olympics. In Greco-Roman style, it is forbidden to hold the opponent below the belt.
Freestyle wrestling became an Olympic event, in 1904. Women’s freestyle wrestling was added to the Summer Olympics in 2004. Freestyle allows the use of the wrestler’s or his opponent’s legs in offense and defense.
Collegiate wrestling (sometimes known as scholastic wrestling or folkstyle wrestling) is the commonly used name of wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States
One Great Wrestler
Arguably, the greatest American wrestler of all time, Dan Gable has become a legend in the wrestling community. During his high school and college careers, Gable compiled an unbelievable record of 182-1. He was undefeated in 64 prep matches, and was 118-1 at Iowa State. His only defeat came in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable was a three-time all-American and three-time Big Eight champion. He set NCAA records in winning and pin streaks.
Lots of Motivation –
Dan Gable is also credited with some of the most memorable quotes about wrestling every uttered. Among them are:
“More enduringly than any other sport, wresting teaches self-control and pride. Some have wrestled without great skill – none have wrestled without great pride.”
“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
“The first period is won by the best technician. The second period is won by the kid in the best shape. The 3rd period is won by the kid with the biggest heart.”
Scope of Wrestling Participation
- Scholastic wrestling ranks 6th of all boys’ sports in terms of participation at the high school level with over 272,000 nation-wide.
- Wrestling currently has its high participation rates since 1980
- Since 2002-03, the number of high school wrestlers has grown by over 30,000.
- Over 10,400 schools sponsors wrestling, which is the largest number ever.
Growth of Female Wrestler Participation
- Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school nationwide has grown from 804 to over 8000
- 22 colleges now sponsor a varsity women’s wrestling program
- Women’s wrestling is now a recognized Olympic sport
- Texas, Hawaii and Washington sponsor a state high school girls wrestling championship
- Females account for 2.9% of high school wrestlers nationwide.