Tony Earley has a knack for using simple plots as platters to dish out his delicious prose. His series about a boy growing up during the Great Depression started in 2000 with Jim the Boy. That book introduced readers to Jim at age ten. This year Earley catches up with Jim seven years later in The Blue Star. The novel follows Jim through his final year of high school as he battles teen love. The Blue Star may seem to be just a boy-meets-girl-who-is-already-spoken-for tale, but, as is Earleys style, the good stuff is between the cracks in dialogues and the characters self-reflections.
Earley earned praise from critics starting in 1994 when his short story The Prophet from Jupiter helped Harpers garner the National Magazine Award for fiction and in 1996 when both the literary journal Granta and The New Yorker named him one of the top new novelists in America. See what all the fuss is about when Earley reads from and signs The Blue Star today at 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit www.brazosbookstore.com. Free.
Wed., April 16, 7 p.m., 2008