Jake Praise

Arch Montgomery $19.95

“Jake, the second novel in Arch Montgomery’s Gunpowder Trilogy, is more than a worthy sequel to Hank: it takes the story chronicling the second of three protagonists into new arenas that define verisimilitude. It should be required reading for all teachers who work with adolescents, since Montgomery captures the voice and spirit of the age with aching and powerful poignancy. I can’t think of a better training manual for parents of young children as well. Your world changes when a child becomes an adolescent; Jake tells the story of what you should expect. It’s about time that readers experience an uplifting tale of what a good school, with extraordinarily thoughtful leadership and caring teachers, can mean for a young boy whose soul is wandering and seeking direction, the very essence of what one hopes any school could do for all wards in its charge.” — Patrick Bassett, President, National Association of Independent Schools
“Arch Montgomery has done it again. Actually, he’s more than done it. I was a great fan of Hank, the first installment of his Gunpowder trilogy. And Jake, his second novel in the trilogy, is even better. It goes without saying at this point that the writing is clear and beautiful. But what blows me away is Montgomery’s ability to capture the voice of the adolescent, the ache and yearning and confidence and confusion. Nobody out there does it better.”
–Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Friday Night Lights and A Prayer for the City

“A paean to the ideal school.”
— Shan Serafin, Author, Seventeen

“Jake provides a sensitive, intimate, and touching picture of middle and upper school life. And I will admit it: I shed rare and real tears while reading it. It also provides extraordinary insight into students’ minds, and, as such, is a wonderful education for parents, educators, and students alike. Anybody who liked Hank, its predecessor in the Gunpowder Trilogy, must read Jake.”
— Ginny Levin, Retired Teacher

“Montgomery demolishes the high standards set by his own first novel (Hank) with a follow-up that is thoroughly riveting and superior in every way . . . He builds a world in which we can live and delight. St. Stephen’s is the sort of school at which every teacher dreams of working, and every student wouldn’t mind attending. It’s dreamlike in its almost idyllic perfection, but a dream that one can envision becoming reality . . . Jake’s world is populated not with characters or archetypes, but with people who burst off the page. They’re real, not simply life-like or true to life. And like all real people, they refuse to fall under neatly defined labels, continually defying expectations and revealing hidden depths . . . In a sensitive critique of the adolescent world . . . and an arresting portrait of a boy on his journey into manhood, Montgomery takes the reader on a journey into the magic and the reality of growing up. Jake is brilliant, a dazzling work of fact and fancy that perfectly captures the nature of that elusive gremlin called adolescence. Entertaining and insightful, it is a multi-faceted gem.”
— Harvard Book Review

“Arch Montgomery captures adolescence with a blunt and loving accuracy that could only come from a man devoted to helping young people gain safe passage to adulthood, despite their occasionally galling flaws. His Jake is or nery, self-absorbed, and caught up in pushing the world away while at the same time trying to give himself permission to drop his teenage guard and embrace the adults who baffle him by being so unreservedly decent. Without being unduly sincere, Jake demonstrates that in a troubled world, it’s more important than ever that we hold our children to high standards and celebrate them when they prevail.”
— Tom Matthews, Author, Like We Care

“Few schoolboys are dealt a more unpromising hand than Jake Phillips. His relationship to the members of a badly broken family hang together by tenuous threads–and things will grow worse. His young life has made him justifiably defensive and angry. But Jake could not be luckier in his new school. It is never easy for him, and though attentive and caring, it is far from warm and fuzzy. It is, rather, just right–and what he least expects. Jake, we feel, will succeed because of equal measures of innate boy-strength and the reliable guiding hand of a fine school. The road to that success will be harder than most readers could imagine, and it is to Arch Montgomery’s great credit that he convincingly delivers a heartbreaking problem and its gratifying solution in a single tale.”
— Richard Hawley , Headmaster of the University School in Ohio , and author of The Headmaster’s Papers and Paul & Juliana

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