A book will change you, if you let it. That’s what makes a good book so great. You get to learn from what happens to the characters, without actually having to make their mistakes and live through their pain.
One of the hardest things about being a teen is having to make choices, sometimes without even understanding what the consequences of those choices will turn out to be. That’s what I write about in Nowhere to Run.
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Track star Calvin Williams’ best friend Deej gets involved with a local criminal, and suddenly everything that’s important to Calvin is at risk: his friend; his job; the love of Junior, his studious girlfriend with the “Doberman daddy”; the trust of Albert, Calvin’s coach and mentor; and, last but not least, Calvin’s chance to be a Washington DC track champion.
For many years I taught writing at Montgomery College, in suburban DC. One of the assignments I always used was: “Write about a time you had to make a difficult decision.” Every semester nearly half of my students wrote about a choice that involved a friend. Some students didn’t have solid families behind them, and their friends were pretty much all they had to support them. So these were hard choices. That’s the story of Nowhere to Run.
In the book, Calvin has a good home situation, but Deej doesn’t. What matters the most to both of them is their friendship. Their connection is so strong. They have always been there for each other. But this friendship is in danger starting on page one, when we first see Calvin walking down that dark street in a neighborhood where he knows he doesn’t belong.