The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
As Dill begins his senior year, he’s facing a lot of changes. Most notably, Lydia, one of his two best (and only) friends will be leaving for college in a year while Dill and Travis are stuck where they are. Travis seems content to work at his Dad’s lumber yard and escape through his favorite fantasy books. But Dill isn’t sure where he belongs any more. With his father in prison and his mother injured from a car accident, it’s up to him to support his family—even though they don’t support him. Is he resisting Lydia’s encouragement to go to college and focus on his music because it’s not possible? Or because he wants it too much?
Set in a small, rural town in Tennessee, this book paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to feel trapped by circumstances. But it also sends a powerful message of hope, friendship, and faith. Highly recommended for readers in high school and up.
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