I’m so excited to post today about an amazing new teen book – The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia T. Toney. I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of this fantastic Historical Fiction novel. The actual release date is October 9th; however, it is on pre-sale starting today at an incredible price.
In case you’re not familiar with Cynthia T. Toney, this very talented writer is the author of the award-winning Bird Face series of books – 8 Notes to a Nobody, 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, and 6 Dates to Disaster. I have read them all and thoroughly enjoy her signature style of creating intriguing stories full of unique topics with interesting characters that readers care about. These books are like enjoying a beautiful spring day, under the shade of your favorite tree, with a glass of cold lemonade – in other words, they fill you with joy.
I knew of Toney’s flawless ability to write from a modern teenage girl’s perspective, so was curious when I heard her newest book is set in the 1920’s and told from the point of view of a middle school age boy – Salvatore. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. She effortlessly delved into the mind of a young boy who lived in Louisiana during the tumultuous Prohibition years, weaving together a fascinating tale of hardship, corruption and the importance of family and faith. This intriguing, coming of age story focuses on the difficult choices and decisions one Italian immigrant family must face while desperately trying to keep their family together.
I didn’t know much about this interesting time in our history when Italian/Sicilian gangsters terrorized American communities, but was fascinated by this story and how these crime sprees affected law-abiding families of Italian descent. Besides being a captivating story, this book provides plenty of discussion topics including the repercussions that can arise when trying to do what is right, as well as the issues of: prohibition, segregation and immigration. Bravo to Cynthia T. Toney for creating yet another wonderful, thought-provoking teen novel.