Jeff Daines is not your typical thirteen-year-old. Sure, he plays sports, works hard in school, spends most of his time in the North Carolina woods, and has plenty of friends. But he’s intimidating. Physically intimidating! He looks years older and is often mistaken for a young man rather than a junior high school boy. Everything about Jeff screams success. Despite his ideal situation, Jeff has numerous battles to conquer. As Jeff goes through his final year of junior high, he anticipates all of the opportunities that high school will provide. He battles with compartmentalizing his life so that he can present himself as a young man who has it all together. Yet, his home life quickly deteriorates all the facades that Jeff has constructed. In the end, he escapes an out-of-control situation to discover a new found hope which bridges him into the next phase of his life.
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One Less Bruised
Surviving his suicide attempt, Rusty throws himself into high school life. He attends therapy sessions but remains aloof about his emotions. With his father gone, he has added responsibilities around the house while negotiating his mother’s severe mood swings. Additionally, the highly rigorous honors program at school challenges him at enormous levels so that he must carefully balance the competing forces in his life. However, he meets an older transfer student, Jeff Daines, who quickly develops a friendship with him. As the duo teams together to battle life’s challenges, their common experiences bond them towards a shared future. Nonetheless, Rusty’s neighbor, Gary, inserts himself into his life repeatedly throughout his high school challenges. Each time Rusty makes significant progress in achieving his life-long goals, other situations pull him back. Yet through his budding faith and his newly found friendship, Rusty finds courage, strength, and perseverance to thrive in an increasingly hostile and perplexing world.
One More Broken: Based on a Memoir
In a small Wyoming town, Rusty begins his summer vacation before high school by battling with the loneliness of living in a secluded farming community. His aged parents are emotionally detached from him, sending him into a dark and abysmal world of his own. While wandering in the badlands away from his house, Rusty meets his thirty-something year old neighbor Gary who befriends him immediately. His budding relationship opens Rusty up to cultivate an unwavering trust and an absolute security that he has never experienced before. As his unstable connection with his parents continues to disintegrate, Gary becomes a comfortable and sought after friend. The more that Rusty battles with his indifferent, psychologically disturbed parents and the seclusion that keeps him captive, the more his isolated life and his erratic emotions overlap with Gary. Ultimately, Rusty’s life is altered by a betrayal that marks him forever.