Connectingya.com presents Monday Night RAWing Support and Defend
Just in time for 4th of July comes my new Darby Creek series for reluctant readers, Support and Defend. With the tag line of “having a parent return from military duty is a dream come true. But sometimes, coming home comes with problems” these four books (Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force) explore some of the most common situations with redeployment home.
Unlike my other series (The Dojo, The Alternative, Locked Out, and the forthcoming Unbarred), Darby Creek pitched the series to me. So, unlike those other series where I had some familiarity with the world of MMA, alternative schools, and children impacted by parental incarceration, I needed to dive deep in secondary research. I did have some teen pre-readers from alternative schools (all kids of color), but none of them with military parents, so we also had a subject matter expert review the texts for accuracy. For Collateral Damage, I once again teamed with Brent Chartier because of his deep knowledge about traumatic brain injury.
For Rosie, life is nearly perfect. She has the perfect ROTC boyfriend and perfect grades. Her ex-Marine Corps father still barks orders like he’s in uniform, but he’s finally home for good—until he announces that he’s going to re-enlist. Rosie’s angry at the news. Really angry. Her behavior spins out of control, causing problems at school, at home, with her boyfriend, and even with law enforcement. Can she face her father and check her anger in time to get her life back on track?
Tyshawn can’t wait to show off his three-pointers. His dad, a former basketball star and a sergeant in the US Army, is finally coming home from overseas. But Ty isn’t prepared for how serious his dad’s traumatic brain injury is. Neither is his mom. When Ty is left to care for his dad, it’s hard to keep up with his own life—and his girlfriend, his coach, and his teachers all take notice. He may not be the injured one, but he needs to figure out how to cope with this new situation—and fast.
Justin’s got it all planned out. He’s going to graduate high school, enroll at the Naval Academy, and become a Navy SEAL, just like his dad. But when he finds out a secret his dad has been keeping, Justin’s world is turned upside down. He feels betrayed by his biggest role model. When his aggression spins out of control, his future with the Navy is on the line. Justin might not be in combat yet, but he’ll have to figure how to readjust under pressure before it’s too late.
When Paige’s mom returns from her final tour of Air Force duty, Paige couldn’t be happier for things to go back to normal. But before long, Paige realizes her mom brought something else back with her—an addiction to pain pills. The irritable, medicated, zombie version of her mom isn’t the person Paige wanted to come home. She’ll try anything to get through to her mom and help her with her painful secret. But can Paige get her mom clean without ruining their relationship and her own ROTC dreams?