-"Entertaining and authentic." —Kirkus Reviews, Recommended Review
-Winner of 2015 Stargazer Literary Prizes (Visionary and Metaphysical Fiction category)
-Bronze medal winner of 2016 FAPA President's Awards (Adult eBook category)
Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story follows a group of recent college graduates who struggle with alienation and addiction as they try to survive a year of teaching at dysfunctional Miami public schools.
A poetic and insightful coming-of-age novel, Developing Minds is centered on 24-year-old Luke Entelechy, an aspiring writer who sees his creative output suffer when he begins teaching at one of Miami's most challenging middle schools. As the year progresses, however, Luke begins to relate to the neglect and abuse his students suffer, and is faced with a "haunting" decision: continue to let his dark past destroy him, or rise above the struggle to realize his potential as an artist and a "real" human being.
Equal parts disturbing and humorous, Developing Minds offers a brutally honest look at the American public school system and the extreme measures many teachers take to cope with working in it.
*Developing Minds is the fourth book in a loosely-linked series, with Hammond, The Summer of Crud, and Understanding the Alacrán as books one, two, and three, respectively.
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About the Author
Jonathan LaPoma is an award-winning, best-selling novelist, screenwriter, songwriter, and poet from Buffalo, NY. In 2005, he received a BA in history and a secondary education credential from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and he traveled extensively throughout the United States and Mexico after graduating. These experiences have become the inspiration for much of his writing, which often explores themes of alienation and misery as human constructions that can be overcome through self-understanding and the acceptance of suffering.
LaPoma has written five novels, thirteen screenplays, and hundreds of songs and poems. His screenplays have won over 150 awards/honors at various international screenwriting competitions, and his black comedy script Harm for the Holidays was optioned by Warren Zide along with Wexlfish Pictures (American Pie, Final Destination, The Big Hit) in July 2017.
LaPoma’s novels have been recommended by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes and Noble (B&N Press Presents list), have hit the #1 Amazon Bestseller lists in the “Satire,” “Urban Life,” “Metaphysical,” “Metaphysical & Visionary,” and “Religious & Inspirational” Kindle categories (USA, Canada, and Australia), and have won awards/honors in the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award, the 2016 and 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Awards, and the 2015 Stargazer Literary Prizes. He lives in San Diego, CA and teaches at a public secondary school.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Insightful. This book reveals plenty about the American educational institution and how it’s not designed to be the most appropriate system for troubled young minds from a troubled neighbourhood. The narrator, Luke and his friend, Billy groan and complain about having to teach and are sceptic about the whole system. More than once in this novel, they’re wondering why they’re even doing it. What’s in a title? Sometimes, you can tell lots about a book just from its title. Developing Minds; I see this as both verb and the main character Luke's state. He is developing both young minds (students) and his own mind. Ghost Story; This novel is written in such a way that the pursuit of educating young minds from troubled families in a troubled neighbourhood is scary. Luke goes into class imagining all sorts of trouble he’ll have to neutralise and at the same time, teach. It’s moving to see Mr Entelechy having moments where he’s getting through to a tough classroom. But hey, his name is Entelechy after all.