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Zentner, Jeff.  
THE SERPENT KING
New York: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 
IL YA
ISBN 055352402X

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Dill is the son of a preacher man, a Pentecostal minister who handles snakes and is currently residing in prison.  To label Dill an outcast would be an understatement.  He is bullied because of his family but also because of his best friends, Travis and Lydia.

Travis is a bigger-than-life teen who lives in the fantasy world of his favorite novels.  Fashionista Lydia canít wait to get out of small-town dullsville and move to a fashion forward big city.  The threesome help each other through the perils of backwoods Tennessee bigotry, bullies, and hardships.  But as their senior year draws to an end, they each face their own insecurities and fears.  

But nothing can prepare them for the tragedy that will change their lives and friendships forever.

The Serpent King eloquently describes the heartache and joy of friendship and family while reminding us that with great joy often comes devastating sadness but through it all we can persevere with grace and dignity.  (Oklahoma High School Sequoyah Award, 2018)

Booktalk #2

For fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky, Jeff Zentnerís debut novel, The Serpent King, provides a close look at the life of three friends in rural Tennessee. Dill, Travis, and Lydia are all very different, but bound together by the strength of their friendship. Dillís family scandal is on display for the entire town when his father ends up in jail. His friends are his lifeline, but graduation is coming; will it set them free from the constricts of small-town life or cause their close-knit friendship to splinter? This beautiful, funny, yet sometimes heartbreaking book endears the characters to the heart of every reader and provides a realistic glimpse into what it truly means to be a friend. (Florida Teens Read (FTR) 2017-2018)


SUBJECTS:     Country life -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Self-actualization (Psychology) -- Fiction.

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