Forged by fire:
When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together. As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation.It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends. After he was almost killed in an apartment fire while his mother went to buy drugs, Gerald was raised by his aunt. Then one day, six years later, his mother returns with her new husband and Angel, Gerald's little sister. As the children grow up, it becomes more and more apparent that Angel needs Gerald's protection from her father's abuse. But who will protect Gerald? Young Adult. Sharon Mills Draper, born in Cleveland, Ohio, has been writing and teaching for over twenty years. She has always encouraged in her students a love of learning through literature and a respect for excellence in writing. Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of her students, she entered and won first prize in the 1991 Ebony Magazine Literary Contest, for which she was awarded $5,000 and the publication of her short story "One Small Torch." Since that time, she has had numerous poems and stories published, and is also...
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