Luke is sure his martial arts training is worthless. That's why he quit. But when Dirk and his thugs move into his school, Luke quickly realizes that he may be the only one who can save Lucy, Chuck, and his other friends from their relentless and violent gang. Only Luke can make the ultimate decision to help his friends and stand up to the gang. It's a stark choice, and one he can't make alone. A Warrior's Soul is Luke's journey as he struggles to cope with the gang, teachers who don't understand the threat, disbelieving parents, and his own lack of confidence. Will he have the courage to return to the dojo and resume his training? Will he have the wisdom to know when to confront the gang? About the Author SR Staley travels internationally, giving speeches and presentations on a wide range of topics. He is married with two teenage children, and is also the author of the young adult novel The Pirate of Panther Bay . He currently splits his time between Dayton, Ohio, where he trains at the SKH Quest Center for Martial Arts, and Tallahassee, Florida, where he teaches at Florida State University. Endorsement "Staley's gritty and gripping story brings to life the kind of dilemmas today's kids can face on a daily basis. He also provides important lessons for how martial arts training can become a touchstone in finding our way through life. Bullying is a dirty blight in our society, and Luke's story doesn't shy away from the threats they pose to boys and girls, and the adults in their lives. I enjoyed reading the martial arts action scenes, which are believably intense. As founder of the To-Shin Do martial art, based on Japan's historical ninja defensive combat principles and techniques, I am personally excited to see A Warrior's Soul illuminate the impact of modern-day bullying, martial arts, and personal growth." -- Stephen K. Hayes, Black Belt Hall of Fame, Founder, To-Shin Do Martial Arts
Luke is sure his martial arts training is worthless. That's why he quit. But when Dirk and his thugs move into his school, Luke quickly realizes that he may be the only one who can save Lucy, Chuck, and his other friends from their relentless and violent gang. Only Luke can make the ultimate decision to help his friends and stand up to the gang. It's a stark choice, and one he can't make alone. A Warrior's Soul is Luke's journey as he struggles to cope with the gang, teachers who don't understand the threat, disbelieving parents, and his own lack of confidence. Will he have the courage to return to the dojo and resume his training? Will he have the wisdom to know when to confront the gang?
About the author:
This is his own words: I have written hundreds of articles and commentaries during my two-decade long career as a public policy researcher, analyst, and novelist, but no form of writing captures my interest and passions like books. I love the "long form" of storytelling, and books provide the format and freedom to take my characters down paths my initial idea or outline could never have imagined. I find this especially true in fiction, but it's also true for my nonfiction. Writing is a process, and as a writer, I allow my creative juices to be energized by the journey. I have traveled extensively in my full-time job, giving speeches, lectures and workshops in dozens of cities in the U.S. as well as Europe and Asia. (I've been to China & Hong Kong nearly 20 times since 1992). I have traveled to 42 U.S. states. Professionally--my "day job"--I am the Associate Director of the DeVoe Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences at Florida State University in Tallahassee where I also teach classes in urban planning and urban economics. I am also a senior research fellow with Reason Foundation in Los Angeles, where I founded the urban policy program in 1997. Educationally, I earned my B.A. in economics-public policy from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, my M.S. in applied economics from Wright State University, and my Ph.D. in public policy & management from The Ohio State University. I also spent two years in the doctoral program in economics at George Mason University where I was a Bradley Fellow in the Center for Study of Public Choice from 1989-1990.
My review: I was so surprised by this book. I loved it so much and to tell you the truth before reading it, i did not have high expectations of this book. Boy oh boy was I wrong. It was so sad and I felt bad for the boy in the story. Gangs are nothing fun and they had to be stopped. You should totally go buy and read this book. (:
Bullying is a real-life situation that MANY of our children are dealing with. SR Staley has taken this problem and put bullying victims feelings into words. As adults we need to make sure we are paying attention to our children and taking their concerns seriously. This story has taught me to pay very close attention to my children's actions to be sure that when they voice a concern it is taken seriously and that I assist them in finding a resolution to their problem. We can't assume that a school or anyone else is taking care of our children. Bullying does exist and while we need to protect our children, we also need to be sure that our children are not the bullies. I would recommend this book to any pre-teen/teen boy or girl. It shows them what bullied children are going through, and positive ways to resolve the situation. It is also a good conversation starter to talk to your children about bullying. We have to get away from the "that wouldn't happen here" frame of mind.
About the Book:
We find Luke cowering behind a crumbling wall in an alley in the beginning of A Warrior's Soul. Luke and his friends are being bullied by Dirk and his Goon Squad. After witnessing his friend Jimmy be hospitalized due to Dirk's bullying, he is feeling the guilt of not standing up to Dirk and standing up for his friend.
With a school in denial and his parents in denial there is only one thing Luke can turn to, his martial arts. The other thing, or should I say person, that lifts Luke's spirits is Lucy.
After taking a good beating from Dirk and the Good Squad, and Luke being considered "at fault" for his beating, Luke considers running away. With Dad out of town, and Mom in denial of the bullying and gangs at school, Luke doesn't know what else to do. Just then Peter, the dojo owner, comes back into Luke's life. Chuck, Luke's friend and bullying victim, obtains a gun. Luke introduces his friends to Peter, and they begin to learn how to defend themselves.
The main character, Luke, displays all the emotions and traits of a teenager who is trying to find out where he belongs and what he has to do to survive. The added problem is the school bully, Dirk and his gang have decided it is Luke's turn to receive their treatment.
Luke is confused and doesn't know how to react, especially when a couple of his close friends are hurt by Dirk and his gang. When he approaches his mam and the school authorities they don't believe him, so what option does he have?
Having left his martial arts training school feeling it wasn't teaching him anything, he finds himself strangely drawn back to it where Pete, his trainer, is waiting for him. After an incident at school, Luke and his friend Lucy find themselves opening up to Pete, who then gives Lucy her first lesson and Luke realises what he has been taught is worth a lot more than he ever could envisage.
When Luke realises that Chuck, his friend, has took a weapon to sort out Dirk once and for all, he knows that he must stop him before someone ends up being killed, but how and when to do this is his next problem
The story is an excellent one, it shows that violence is not the answer, through a disciplined regime of training to defend yourself, that if you can stick up for yourself and react in the correct manner then you can achieve your goals.
The authors writing brings the story and emotions to life - fear, anger, frustration and trying to establish a power base is poignant to any establishment with an age range. The growing up stages of any youth rely on one thing, which is brought across very strongly throughout this book, that they all need a role model of some description that they can relate to, to alleviate their worries and seek advice from.
I would strongly recommend this book to any young reader to give them the belief that their is always someone they can turn to.
As a "girly girl", I wasn't sure I would be able to get into this book which features a strong male lead and a very important martial arts theme. After reading the first few paragraphs, I was impressed by how engaging the writing was. The book starts with Luke being chased by the bullies who taunt him throughout the whole book. Thanks to SR Staley's powerful writing, I was transported into the story - I was hiding in the dead-end alley, being pounded by the rain as I prayed the bullies wouldn't find me. I was Luke - scared, embarrassed and ashamed that I hadn't stood up for myself and my friends. If a book can easily paint me into a picture I've never been in before, it's definitely worth a read.
This book continued to surprise me the whole way through. It seemed to shift from powerful and descriptive fight/flee scenes to incredibly realistic thoughts and dialogue, all the while building up to the final action-packed scenes. In the beginning, it's a story of a boy who's being taunted by bullies. By the end, it's several characters all facing their own battle with these bullies and toying with ways to save their school, their friends and themselves. The solutions seem to become increasingly more dangerous and all the more necessary.
This book seems perfect for teenage boys who have an interest in martial arts or any boy who has/is dealing with a bully. That being said, I was able to enjoy it and would recommend it for anyone who likes fast-paced books with action! I also think it would be a great group read as discussion and classroom questions are included at the end. I will note that there is a bit of violence in this book so you might not want to pass it to anyone too young.
Whether you're into martial arts or not, you should give this book a try. The writing is quite satisfying and the plot continues to thicken to the very end of the book.
With all of the problems and issues facing our children and teens today, a book like this is a breath of fresh air! Genuine, quality, true to life characters that teens can actually relate to, bullies, friends, parents, school, real stuff that kids can really relate to, and a story that actually teaches in a unique way, right from wrong. Luke has some problems with a gang at school, and is getting bullied each day. For some reason, the school officials are in a sense, also bullying Luke, by ignoring the problems, and trying to make it out to be Luke's fault. having some martial arts background, (even though he chose to quit because he didn't think he was learning to "fight" during his lessons), he decides to visit his teacher. His friend makes a couple wrong decisions, or choices, and the author did a perfect job with this! Everything from the dreams Luke was having, the fact that he was scared of his friend's decision to carry a gun, Chuck, trying to explain that it was needed, the whole scene played out super well, and was just how you would expect, hear, see this happening in real life with these teens. I have 4 children, 1 of which is almost 9, and has been a victim of bullying a few times. This has been a horrible problem for many children, and teens across this country and this is an excellent choice for school libraries, teachers, classrooms, and parents, to have available, and for class discussion. I recommend this book for parents, and their kids, and keep a copy for your smaller children for their middle school and high school years! this is the first in a series, so I personally can't wait for the next book!!
When I first began to read this it was hard for me to get into because I knew nothing about the culture or detail behind any form of martial arts. I quickly got past that and took the book for what it truly was, a story of how a young teenage boy deals with the struggles of bullies that seem to not be noticed.
Growing up I went through this myself with the mean girls and the young men who just didn't care what they said or did as long as it didn't hurt them. The main character describes how he deals with this not only in his school but also in his family life. Many of my students in middle school can relate to this and that is why this book is now sitting on my shelf for anyone to read.
I have also donated a copy to my school library so that others in the school can check it out and realize that they are not alone in the battle of bullies. It truly takes a village to make things change and each voice matters.
In A Warrior's Soul we meet Luke a young boy who is being bullying and feels frightened and helpless. Though he has martial arts training he feels he is not capable of defending himself or his friends. Through his journey of self awareness and the building of confidence we see Luke not only find himself but his voice to take a stand against bullies.
As a mom of a middle school student I found this book very intriguing coming from the view of a young boy and his daily life. With bullying being such a huge problem in today's society I think this book really opens the door to teach not only young boys that they have a voice but also girls. I highly recommend reading this book if your a parent but even more so if you have a child in middle school or soon to be. It would also make a great summer reading book for any young adult.
There is a clear sense of right-from-wrong in this book; like most children, some of the characters don't fully realize the consequences of their actions. At the end of book, there is a selection of excellent classroom discussion questions. Asking students to identify symbolism and perspective is a critical step to advanced reading. A Warrior's Soul gives teachers and parents the opportunity to discuss with children the ways to resolve serious situations. It's difficult to find a book that will hit home with middle schoolers. This is an excellent choice for reluctant readers in middle school. I can't wait to read the next one!
I received a copy of this book to review. The opinions are 100% mine.
I think this book should be read by young and old alike! It targets the subject of bullying of a 13 year old boy, something we see far too much of in society today. Why can't he stand up to his bully? He has been studying martial arts and he has reported the bully to the adults in his life at home and at school. Sounds all too familiar doesn't it? LOVE this book and highly recommend it!