“JACK” – A Young Adult Adventure In 1860’s Charleston, S.C.

English, History & Humanities Teachers: Win class set of “Jack” – see below for guidelines and link to a free PDF for critique purposes.

teaccher cartoons

Deadline for teacher reviews extended until September 25. (Keep in mind that there are a number of minor errors as I am waiting for the review copies when there will be a final editing). Part One in the trilogy is scheduled to be published on or about October 1, 2014, with the other two parts scheduled for December, 2014 and February, 2015. The semi-final PDF digital copy is available now totally free on my Selz web store  and everyone who follows (click top right button) this blog will receive a final PDF version. Five of the top 25 teacher reviews will receive a free class set of the novel with shipping (a $120 value) while the remaining 20 will receive a free physical copy with free shipping. Winning critiques will be judged based upon balance, insight, and supported criticisms

Win a classroom set (10 volumes including shipping to continental USA) for submitting a critical review of Part 1 in the trilogy, “Jack.” The five top selected teacher reviews of the first 25 submitted will receive free sets while the remaining 20 reviewers will receive a free volume including shipping). The author of “Jack” taught English/History for 13 years in Manhattan high schools and is looking exclusively for teacher reviews.

Part or all of your review may be published in the first few pages of this historical fiction novel, which you would consent to when you submit your review. Simply read the book, send your review to my email, , and the results will be published on this website by September 30  (please hit the follow button to be assured of seeing the results in your email) You can read several chapters below and/or you can read the entire Part 1  with a limited time free PDF download at my web store:  Also, you may leave a full comment at the bottom of this page.  Please keep your critique to one page or less.


“A man never rises so high as when he knows not whither he is going.”
– Oliver Cromwell
Part 1 in the Trilogy
Charleston, South Carolina, 1853-65
Gary Dorion
Copyright © 2014 Gary Dorion, Global Vibrations Publishing
All rights reserved. ISBN: 13: 978-1463766412 ISBN-10: 1463766416

Inga Shalvashvili's cover illustration for my soon-to-be-published novel, Jack

Illustrated by Inga Shalvashvili, Georgia, (near Russia)

1 The Battle is Joined

Crawling up alongside the red wooden façade of the schoolhouse, Jack and I peeked through the windows and scanned the room. There was Mike sitting on one end of a bench, paying the strictest attention to master’s lesson.

“The sniveling little worm,” Jack said, scrunching up his nose. “I knew he didn’t have the nerve to skip. Next, he’ll be licking Whittemore’s boots- the little worm.”

“What are we gonna do?” I asked.

“What do ya mean what’a we gonna do? What are you gonna do you moron?” Jack said and rapped his knuckles on the wooden door of the school house as hard as he could, then bolted toward the hedges across the Meetinghouse Road, saying, “Run son if you knows what’s good for ya!”

Illustration by Inga Shalvashvili

Illustration by Inga Shalvashvili

2 A Disrupted Lesson

I ran as fast as I could, not wishing for master to catch me skipping school and knocking on his door like I was coming to visit which I couldn’t do now anyway because Jack whacked the door so loud as to be heard unmistakably as a rude intrusion on master’s lesson and so I had no choice-I scampered away like a cat escaping from a bulldog.

Estimating that I had only a second or two before master spotted me from the schoolhouse doorway where he would soon be standing, I dove head first over the green hedges and rolled on my side down the little hill seeing Jack on his back, laughing his fool head off. I started laughing too but I was annoyed with Jack’s having set me up like that and forcing me to run and almost getting me caught.”

“Jack Stone!” Master Whittemore’s voice boomed from the little brick schoolhouse with the two chimneys. “I know it’s you! Better get in here!”

“Don’t say nothin’ and don’t move!” Jack whispered loudly.

We waited-ten, twenty, thirty seconds

“Jeremy! I know who it was who put you up to it so you get in here right now and own up or else there’ll be hell to pay. I won’t beat you! I won’t tell your parents if you get in right now!

“Jeremy don’t you risk your whole education for that ne’re-do-well, that good-for-nothing Jack Stone! You want to graduate next year Jeremy, don’t you? If so, you’d better do the smart thing. Don’t let that fool Mr. Stone drag you down with him. He’s no friend of yours and his father’s a drunken bum and you’re going to end up just like him if you don’t listen to me. I am the master of this schoolhouse and I say come here now Jeremy! Get in here now! Jeremy! … Jeremy! I know you’re there hiding with that big coward! He’s so cowardly he’s afraid to show his face. Don’t you be like that stupid boy Jeremy! Do the right thing and I’ll forgive you. I’ll even make sure you get an A for all your subjects this week if you’ll show me now that you deserve it. Of course you’ll have to work hard but an A you’ll get, I assure you.”

“Say nothin’!” said Jack.“Jack Stone. You’re a stupid, lazy miscreant and you’ll be stupid all your life just like your mama-she can’t read and you won’t be able to do so either.”

I could see that Jack was mad and wanted to jump up and go and take a swing at master because he was gritting his teeth at master was showering him with abuse probably hoping Jack would jump up and reveal himself. The whole class could easily hear what master was shouting.

“I think he saw us,” I said.

“Don’t budge!” Jack said. “He’s bluffin’. I saw everythin’ and he didn’t see neither of us.”

“Have it your way Jeremy,” said Master, and he slammed the door causing a tremendous bang.

                           3 MOVIN’ UP IN THE WORLD

Inside the students were stealing looks out of the two long vertical rectangular windows facing onto Meetinghouse Road where the school was situated. They had their hands cupped on the sides of their heads and their noses pressed against the glass trying to see if they could spot the bad boy, Jack, the rebel who liked to call himself, “The midnight raider.” Secretly many of the boys wished they could be more like Jack.

“Mr. Brooks,” said the red-faced Master Whittemore, “you’ve done your work so well today that I’m going to give you a special task-one that I wouldn’t entrust to just any student and one that, if successfully accomplished, will earn you an A for the week in Civics studies. Who knows, with this kind of cooperation and devotion to duty I’m starting to see in you, you may even pass the fifth grade after all.”

Get the completely free digital PDF of Part One on my Selz site. Even if you do  not want to participate in the contest (see top), you can use it free, unconditionally, with your laptop and projector/screen. Students will love this book – I already tested it some in my NYC classrooms over the past 13 years (it took that long)

Anyway, here is the Selz link ( it’s at the top too):

Happy reading and please leave comments and follow this blog (top right button)


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