Saturday, April 4, 2009

RESPONSE by Paul Volponi

Noah has grown up in East Franklin, a predominately black area. One night when he and two friends decide to head on over to nearby Hillsboro (about 95% white) to boost a car, life changes dramatically for Noah.

The three friends never get to commit their intended crime because they run into three white teens bent on keeping their neighborhood free of blacks. The white boys verbally abuse and threaten Noah and his friends, and it's when they begin to chase them that things take a turn. Noah trips and falls. An angry youth nicknamed Scat swings a baseball bat and fractures Noah's skull.

The quick response of paramedics and the quality treatment at the Hillsboro hospital work together to save young Noah. He's plagued with headaches and will live with a metal plate stitched into his head, but he will live to finish high school and be around to be a father for his baby daughter.

When it was determined that the three Hillsboro teens had no way of knowing Noah and his friends were there to steal a car, arrests were made and the three were charged with a hate crime. The actual attack was horrific, but now Noah and his family must live through the stressful experience of a trial. They learn the hard way about harassment and plea bargains as they attend countless meetings with county provided attorneys.

Paul Volponi brings headline material to life in RESPONSE. He portrays a black family working together to educate their son and help him and his teenage girl friend raise their own child. In Noah, readers will meet a frightened, yet determined young man learning how to make his way in a not so friendly world.

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