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Amanda and That Boy

By Barbara M. Sutryn


Amanda Wade has beauty, brains and a wealthy father. He has taught her that their wealth should be used to benefit others. He is proud of Amanda’s determination to teach new skills to underachievers, helping them to earn a better living. Amanda has designed a program to identify and remedy the educational gaps that trap people in poverty. In a show of independence, she moves from her parents’ home to an apartment, not realizing that it is next to one of the city’s trouble spots. ’Round-the-clock disturbances are a constant reminder of her purpose. Even while she works at a government agency, she constantly promotes her program, despite the emotional highs and lows of her personal life. But she is frustrated by the roadblocks she encounters—an insensitive boss, government regulations, and even church groups that have good intentions, but can’t agree among themselves. What happened to compassion? she wondered. Did they repeal the Golden Rule? Disappointments accumulate. By sheer willpower, she pulls herself out of an uncharacteristic slump and is amazed to find a brief period of “fairy-tale happiness.” But it ends abruptly, leaving her drained and depressed. At this very low point, her attention becomes focused on Jasper, a boy from a dysfunctional family—a boy she wishes she could take into her own home. Her mother says, “Oh, Amanda! Surely not that boy!” But Amanda wants to teach this child, and takes on the project, even skirting the law when it interferes. Could her mother have been right? It was not in the plan for That Boy to change Amanda’s life.

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Year Title Description
2018 Five Stars by Reader's Favorite Reader's Favorite annual award


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