“You cannot run from the nature to protect. Leaping to protect his friends, Luke will learn what it means to be a warrior and that it's more than training. A Warrior's Soul is a fine and exciting read for younger readers, highly recommended.” Wisconsin Book Watch
Luke finds he is the target of Carson Middle School's most relentless bullies and soon realizes he may be the only one who can save his friends Lucy and Chuck from their violence. A Warrior's Soul is Luke's journey as he struggles to cope with the gang, teachers who don't understand the threat, disbelieving parents, and his own lack of confidence despite years of martial arts training. Will he have the courage to return to the dojo and resume his training? Will he have wisdom to know when to confront Dirk and his thugs?
Maria soon learns her street smarts and savvy are no match for the bullies and thugs that make up her middle school's biggest gang in Renegade, a fast paced, action adventure. Yet, Maria finds some hope when she finds herself under the instruction of two mysterious martial arts instructors. But is too little, too late? Can the streetwise tough girl relearn everything she know about fighting and survival to keep the gangs at bay? The stakes couldn't be higher: her life, and her school, depend on making the right choice.
Winner, 2nd Place, Children's Chapter Book, 2012 Seven Hills Literary Competition
“S.R. Staley’s contemporary middle-grade novel, ‘Renegade,’ jumps right into the brutal world of girl gangs” and “weaves a tale of middle-school mayhem, emotional insecurity, physical brutality, and complicated relationships.”
A Warrior's Soul and Renegade include discussion questions for classroom use and Q&A with the author in the back of the book. In addition, the content has been mapped over the common core education standards for 7th grade.