Books by Neil Connelly

BRAWLER by Neil Connelly
YOUNG ADULT
Released: March 26, 2019

"Nonstop graphic violence takes center stage in this otherwise solid story of self-discovery and redemption. (Fiction. 14-18)"
High school wrestler Eddie MacIntyre's scholarship-filled future evaporates the moment he loses control in a violent outburst at the Pennsylvania state semifinals. Read full book review >
INTO THE HURRICANE by Neil Connelly
YOUNG ADULT
Released: June 27, 2017

"A Category 5 drama that's not without flaws but that has plenty of heart. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Haunted by the ghost of his dead older sister, Eli decides to defy the emergency evacuation orders and travel out to the old lighthouse to finally put his sister's spirit to rest—even if it kills him. Read full book review >
THE MIRACLE STEALER by Neil Connelly
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

Can religious fervor spur economic development? And should it? Three years ago, the citizens of the small town of Paradise, Penn., witnessed a miracle—or at least they chose to believe they did—when three-year-old Daniel was pulled from a collapsed well after being trapped for three days. Following Daniel's rescue, cancers were cured, adoptions approved and babies conceived—all miracles attributed to Daniel. Fast-forwarding three years, Paradise has fallen on harsh times, and Daniel is called to pray at the bedside of a pregnant woman with a history of difficulties. A baby named Miracle is born, and news of the birth spreads across the country, attracting pilgrims seeking Daniel's intercession to Paradise. At this story's core is Daniel's teenage sister, Andi, the clear-voiced narrator who is determined to protect Daniel from the pilgrims' fanaticism, and those in the town hoping to benefit from his fame. A thought-provoking examination of the power of faith and the human desire for a savior. (Fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
BUDDY COOPER FINDS A WAY by Neil Connelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 5, 2004

"A lovely deliverance of a debut, the writing quietly sure, the course of true love meandering through its pages, as untidy as a construction site."
Though tethered to the rude vicissitudes of everyday life, this fine, sly first novel also boasts a sweet, intoxicating buffer of magic and apocalypse. Read full book review >
ST. MICHAEL’S SCALES by Neil Connelly
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2001

Patron saint of the sick and patron saint of battle, St. Michael stands at the gate to Heaven, judging people's lives and weighing the worth of their souls. "Lately I've been thinking about those scales," says 15-year-old Keegan Flannery, and he concludes, "I had nothing—my side of the scales was all but empty." He feels his life is empty, he has done nothing of worth for family or friends. Keegan's twin brother Michael died at birth, and ever since, Keegan has felt responsible and guilty for the death and for the family dissolution carried in its wake. To atone, he is planning a suicide when he turns 16, a desperate attempt at forgiveness, absolution, and salvation. This debut novelist succeeds brilliantly at putting readers in to the disturbed and tortured mind of its lonely protagonist. They will experience kaleidoscopic mental images of Heaven and Hell, birth and death, gargoyles, angels, saints, and Frankenstein as Keegan tries to make a life—and death—for himself. Wrestling for Our Lady of Perpetual Help High School becomes his means of doing penance through pain. The title of the novel is a clever play on St. Michael's scales and the scales in the locker room, representing Keegan's desire to measure up for patron saint and coach. In a beautifully wrought final wrestling scene—an image of resurrection—Keegan realizes he has found himself, his place, his voice. He realizes he wasn't so much seeking a way to die but a way to live, and that his prayers might better have been for guidance than for death or release. Keegan has found his own voice for his side of St. Michael's scales. A richly layered, thought-provoking novel of how one boy learns to make weight. (Fiction. 14+)Read full book review >