Melanie Weiss, manager of the Oak Park and River Forest High School Scholarship Foundation, published her young adult novel Spoken this year. Already, readers have spoken. 

Weiss’ novel won the Bronze Medal in the Young Adult – Social Issues category of the 2019 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest — “the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the internet,” according to the Better Business Bureau. 

The 192-page novel, published by Oak Park-based Rosehip Publishing, is about Roman Santi, a teenager embedded in the itinerant lifestyle of his flighty, but beautiful single mother, a struggling actress in a relationship with a big-time movie director. When Santi’s mother breaks it off with her director boyfriend, both mother and son are forced to leave the opulence of the California jet-setting life and move to Oak Park to live with Santi’s grandparents.  

The move forces Santi to evaluate his blinding privilege and his fatherlessness (his mother became pregnant with Santi by a Frenchman while both were working as entertainers on a cruise ship — after six months they parted ways and while back in Chicago the 20-year-old dancer learned she was pregnant).

You can buy Spoken on Amazon in print and in the Kindle store at: 

Michael Romain 

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