If you want to make a difference in the book world, to be heard and be influential about a book you like (or don't), consider posting a Customer Review on Amazon.com. These reader reviews are tremendously well-read. If you're like me, when you're checking out a book or something else on Amazon, you don't pay much attention to the quotes from published reviews — but you go right to what real people have said.
So I've been suspensefully watching the Amazon page for True Shoes, hoping that people who were among the book's first readers might be moved to post something. And though the book has only been available for a month, four people have! Here's some of what they said:
From a prevention specialist: "True Shoes doesn't disappoint as it tells it like it is out there and actually makes the reader feel the pain the characters feel as they endure bullying in its newer form — online and via text! Cyberbullying hurts children (and adults!) 24/7 as kids can't escape it. This book helps you understand what cyberbullying is and how deep it goes!"
From a middle schooler: "I enjoyed this book not only because it truly is a great novel but also because it's relatable. At first I was afraid that like so many other middle school-based novels it was completely unrealistic. Thankfully this book was realistic and fascinating at the same time.
The characters are engaging, the setting is appropriate, and the story line is easy to follow without being boring. As a middle school student I highly recommend True Shoes!"
From a parent: "True Shoes covers the gamut of the middle school experience with all its drama and intensity. It does this in a fast paced and engaging style, I could not put it down. Moreover my middle school twins, a boy and girl, loved it as much as I did. This is a must-read for middle schools."
And from a teacher: "Doug Wilhelm has done it again with his follow-up to The Revealers! True Shoes is a topical novel that really hits home in today's technology-driven world. As a middle school teacher for 16 years, I see many of my students in Doug's characters, and I see the bullying that is done through Facebook and texting all the time. As the novel states, what goes on the Internet stays there! Our young people today aren't often aware of the potential repercussions of even some of the most innocuous actions.
"I started slowly when I read this book. I was jolted by the changes in some of the characters, especially Catalina. She has grown a lot since she was a deeply sympathetic character in The Revealers. Her growth, along with Elliot's, is representative of the growth many teenagers go through from 7th to 8th grade. ... Doug's ability to weave realistic characters along with a detailed plot and make the story true to life are what make his novels must reads.
"Even if you haven't read The Revealers, I think this book can stand on its own. If you are a teenager, if you are a parent or teachers of teenagers, or if you just enjoy a good book period, True Shoes should be read. If you have read The Revealers, it can only enrich the experience. I've taught The Revealers to my students for four years now, and many can't wait to read the sequel, especially to find out more about the most complex character of them all - Richie Tucker!"
If you'd like to post a Customer Review of any book on Amazon.com — maybe of True Shoes?? — it's easy to do. Just go to the book's Amazon page by typing in its title; scroll down to the bottom of the Customer Reviews, and click on Create your own review. Your words will be read, I guarantee it!