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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Drowning Hate by Gregory Saur examines the journey a group of fourth graders from South Burbank County must take to overcome their differences and learn to trust each other. The teenagers are looking forward to having a wonderful summer — hanging out together and playing baseball. However, they are pitted against each other, torn apart by the color of their skin. A teacher desperate to get rich opens the floodgates of an evil that might just destroy them all. The boys must find common ground, unite, and overcome their differences to beat the evil D-Man and his sinister schemes.
This is a well-plotted narrative that offers many lessons to young readers. They will enjoy the characters with their typical behaviors of teenagers, mirroring the culture in which they have grown up. They have learned to discriminate against and judge each other because of the color of their skin and those who identify with each other share some common affinities. George and Kaden stick together, and they have a light skin color while Micah and Delvin are dark. Jeremiah is unique and could be the bridge linking both camps. Gregory Saur's novel will teach young readers what really matters in life and help them understand that human worth goes beyond wealth and physical looks. The transformation that the characters undergo as they face a strong challenge had me spellbound and I marveled at what can happen to people when they choose tolerance over their prejudices and teamwork over personal differences. Drowning Hate is a thoughtful, engaging narrative that is character-driven.