I’ve just read a couple of novels from the Orca Soundings series–a series that I think of as high quality/quick reading. Pick up one of these for a fast page-turner.
Exit Point by Laura Langston
Logan can’t believe he’s dead. And what really shocks him is being told by a tattooed guardian and his (also dead) grandma that he has just taken the easy way out of life—that he chose to leave at the second possible exit because he didn’t want to work hard enough to get to the fifth exit, when he was supposed to die, in his seventies.
Logan’s grandma has a challenge for him. Before crossing over and permanently leaving the living, he needs to be able to manifest himself in a way that will help his little sister, Amy, to stay safe from “that rat bastard.” At first, Logan thinks the rat must be another nine-year-old who is bullying Amy. But as he realizes that it is an uncle who preys on Amy, Logan must figure out how he can make his parents believe him—especially when the uncle is well-respected, and Logan is someone they can’t even see.
Yellow Line by Sylvia Olsen
Small town prejudice between whites and Indians/First Nations people runs so deep in Vincent’s home town that things seem about the same in the twenty-first century as they did one hundred years earlier. It’s like there’s a dividing line—that yellow line that runs down the center of the road and lets you know which side to stay on. Indians on one side of town, whites on the other. Indians on one side of the street, whites on the other. Indians in one section of the school bus, whites in the other.
Until, Vincent notices, his childhood best friend and now very hot next-door neighbor, Sherry, takes an interest in an Indian guy named Steve. Steve is the biggest, strongest guy in the school. He’s popular, too. And Vincent is both jealous of the relationship and sad that he is losing his old best friend.
Still, Vincent isn’t exactly the school loser. He is a basketball hero—he’s only a junior, but he’s all-county and the best player at his school. But when conflict breaks out between Indian and white students, Vincent loses some of his confidence as some Indian girls continually make fun of him and his hairy, skinny white legs. One girl, Raedawn, tells him not to pay attention. Vincent is drawn to her, but his parents and friends, with their prejudice against Indians, would never understand.
With the whole school, and even the whole town, watching these relationships and doing everything they can to prevent them, it appears that there is no way out except through violence.