Gifted artist? Standout student? All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School. As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore. Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years of his life living a lie. Despite his mother's encouragement and the steadfast companionship of his best friend, Alexis, Evan is mired in rage and bitterness. Good memories seem ludicrous when the present holds no hope. Then Evan's grandmother hands him the key--literally, a key--to a locked trunk that his father hid when he was the same age as Evan is now. Digging into the trunk and the small-town secrets it uncovers, Evan can begin to face who his father really was, and why even the love of his son could not save him.
In a voice that resonates with the authenticity of grief, Steven Parlato tells a different kind of coming-of-age story, about a boy thrust into adulthood too soon, through the corridor of shame, disbelief, and finally...compassion.
Award-winning author and poet, Steven Parlato, has work in Freshwater, Peregrine, and other journals. Upon the release of his YA debut, The Namesake, by Merit Press in 2013, Publishers Weekly called Parlato “a name to watch.” A college English professor (with a giraffe-filled office), illustrator, and actor, Steven has played roles including the Scarecrow, Macbeth, and the Munchie Mania Guy in a Friendly’s training film. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, two teens, and a Binks-like cockapoo. Follow Steven online at StevenParlato.com and on Twitter @ParlatoWrites.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (December 18, 2012)
"The story is powerful, and the plot is well crafted . . . [a] thoughtful coming-of-age story." --School Library Journal
"Parlato constructs an introspective debut about the aftershocks of family trauma. Evan's journey . . . is complex and solidly woven. Parlato's . . . ambitious, well-executed plot twists and nimbly handled cast make him a name to watch." --Publishers Weekly
"Before his father killed himself, [Evan's] home life was pretty normal . . . Now there's a hole in that life that can't be filled or explained. Parlato's debut novel . . . is a painstaking dissection of a father's past and its reverberations in his son's life. A memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought." --Kirkus Reviews
"Steven Parlato's The Namesake is an emotionally stimulating young adult novel that delves into the powerful topic of abuse. Using dry wit, incredible similes and metaphors, and a very thought-provoking storyline, Parlato introduces the reader to an original and unforgiving exploration of the teenage psyche." --Blogcritics
"Steven Parlato's The Namesake totally knocked me off my feet. This is the type of book that keeps you reading, especially if you enjoy dark humor. It's jarring to be sure, but well worth your time." --Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
"The novel shapes up to be one of the best contemporary reads I have ever read. The further I got into the book, the more I became convinced that [the author] was a genius with his writing. The characters were all perfectly laid out. I was able to connect with each and every one of them." --The Subtle Chronicler