Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review + #Giveaway: Tanker 10 by Jonathan Curelop

Paperback: $17.99, eBook: $5.99

ISBN: 978-1628480320

Fiction, 282 pages

Book Case Engine, Oct. 24, 2013

Meet Jimmy LaPlante – sensitive, bookish, baseball obsessed – the neighborhood fat kid and easy prey for his bullying older brother. The story opens in Brockton, Mass. It’s 1976. When Jimmy tries to stand up to Cliff, the verbal abuse turns physical and an accident occurs, sending Jimmy to the hospital with an injury that changes the trajectory of his life. “Tanker 10” follows Jimmy during his pre-teen and teenage years as he struggles to understand the physical and psychological effects of his injury. Throughout this period, baseball is his outlet. By the time he begins high school, Jimmy is an up-and-coming right fielder on the freshman baseball team. Despite having no physical signs of his condition, he is so ill at ease with himself that he can’t help but feel like a freak. Jimmy spends his life grappling with what it means to be normal as he tries to find his place in his family, among his friends, and with his brother Cliff. “Tanker 10” is a funny and heart-breaking story about self-acceptance in the wake of trauma. Readers will root for Jimmy as he struggles to understand that the key to becoming who you are is learning to get out of your own way.


I don't think I've read a more honest and real book than this one. It was emotional and funny - an intimate coming of age story. One of courage, forgiveness and survival.

My heart went out to Jimmy the second I met him. Overweight and struggling to fit in, Jimmy's life became even more of a struggle with the accident that changed him forever. I wanted to dislike Cliff, but as the story progressed, the changes I saw in each character showed tremendous growth and maturity. It didn't excuse the bullying or the abuse, but I was happy that Jimmy was able to forgive and move forward.

I say this book was honest and real because I'm sure every boy, in fact, girls too, would be able relate to Jimmy's feelings and fears. He may have been a little different, but at a time when our bodies wreak havoc on us emotionally and physically, self-doubt and self-esteem issues are at their highest for just about every teen. 

Jimmy was a fighter. With so much going on in his life he still LIVED. He didn't allow his problem to stifle his love for baseball, he didn't allow it to turn him into the hermit he feared he'd become. He may have distanced himself from girls, but he was willing to give it a try; unfortunately for him it didn't end very well most of the time. I was just happy to see him happy. To have him be passionate about something, and to excel in the one thing that took his mind off of the curveballs life had thrown at him (no pun intended). 

This story touched my heart, even broke it a little. It was a fantastic read!

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What Readers Are Saying About
“Tanker 10” by Jonathan Curelop

“Jonathan Curelop's portrayal of Jimmy's suffering is frank, honest and intimate. Tanker 10 should be required reading for parents, students, and teachers alike. It's a story about courage, overcoming fear, and resilience. More importantly, it's a story about the damage human beings can inflict on one another and leaves the reader wondering what can be done to protect children and adolescents who are perceived as flawed.”

“Baseball is a game of hits and misses, new starts and last chances. ‘Tanker 10’ brings us back to a simpler time where learning how to talk to each other got us to first base, but listening got us home.

‘Tanker 10’ is funny and sad and agonizing and awkward…in much the same way growing up is.

“Jonathan Curelop is clearly a gifted writer in so many ways. He is human, candid and extremely amusing at times. The book flows and it was one that I simply didn't want to get to the end. But I did, and I loved it. I look forward to the next one by Curelop.”

“Great read! I found myself carrying ‘Tanker 10’ with me everywhere, hooked by the voice of Jimmy as he takes us through his harrowing, funny, utterly believable life.”

“Beautifully and sensitively written story of a young overweight boy who, as he matures, forgives his brother and himself for seemingly unforgivable acts, without which he would have been unable to embrace his manhood. The underpinnings of his stability are parental love, reading and baseball. The theme of forgiveness, love and overcoming life's obstacles, is universal. A truly wonderful read.”

“Curelop takes you through a roller-coaster ride of emotions as he shares his thoughts and feelings dealing with some of life experiences so many young kids deal with everyday. One minute I found myself laughing out loud and the next minute reaching for a box of tissues. For me, the book was more than just about bullying, baseball and relationships, it goes much deeper than that.”

Finally a true teen hero! In this age of overhyped teen fantasy novels, ‘Tanker 10’ spins a classic coming of age tale through good old fashion story telling. Curelop’s overweight, bullied teen, Jimmy, wins over daunting physical and emotional challenges through his passion for baseball.”

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Jonathan Curelop is a graduate of the City College of New York’s Creative Writing Program. He has studied at Gotham Writer’s Workshop and the New York Writers Workshop. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in various publications, including Solstice, Amarillo Bay, Liquid Imagination, UMass Amherst Magazine, apt, Raging Face, The Melic Review, The American Book Review and Aura. Originally from Massachusetts, where he graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s Theater department, he now lives in New York City with his wife, Pamela.

Short Stories

·         “Third Date” for apt

·         “Scenes in a Minor Key” for Amarillo Bay

·         “First Night Out” for Liquid Imagination

·         “The Cliffs” for Solstice

·         “To the Warehouse” for The Melic Review

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