Spinner


Young Adult - Horror
464 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of nine novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, Spinner (Winner Hollywood Book Festival; Honorable Mention San Francisco Book Festival; Bronze Medal from Reader’s Favorite; Literary Classics Seal of Approval), and Warrior Kids.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.
He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

Spinner is another great book by the author Michael J Bowler, who also penned the Children of the Knight series. Spinner tells the story of a teenage boy, Alex, who suffers from Spina Bifida and has to use a wheelchair, and his gang of special-ed(ucation) friends. Alex is special because he can "spin" people, which means that he can take people's pain, emotional as well as physical, away by listening to them describing their problem/pain. He can make wounds disappear and sadness turn into comfort. Of course, this special power would be very useful for people with more sinister goals than just helping people. Alex and his friends will have to go through quite a few adventures - who are his parents really, and what does a talking cat have to do with all of that? And who are the two parties who want Alex's power for themselves?

Michael J Bowler created a fantastic YA novel with Spinner, and I enjoyed every single page of it. His writing style is unmistakable, so if you have read other books by that author, you will feel right at home. If not, the book will make you want to read his other books, too. Michael manages to include many topics within the story, from bullying, to dealing with being in a special education class, to what it is like to be in love with someone who does not love you the same way, and much more. It is all packed into a very exciting plot about a special boy with special powers. While it is a bit of a horror book in parts, it is not over the top horror with too much gore. It is exciting, but not in a horrible, frightening way - definitely a page turner though!