(ROCKWALL – Sept. 18, 2013) A Goliath Catfish has been spotted in Rockwall. Not a mysterious Chernobyl-grown, bottom feeder or a freakishly big Flathead, but the young adult novel penned by Rockwall teacher and coach, Scott Gill.
Goliath Catfish is set in 1940’s Memphis and tells the story of Albert McClune, a big kid who longs to restore his family’s lost fortunes. Dwarfed by fear and shame, Albert fails his family for a final time and runs away to spare them more pain. Enter Elijah Amos Fortune Jones, an odd, charismatic kid who recruits the distraught Albert as a business partner on his treasure hunt. The two engage in a race through the labyrinth of city sewers for the lost ransom of Machine Gun Kelly, encountering a voodoo priest, rat-infested tunnels, and a man-sized catfish. It is a tale of two boys (one black, one white) and their unlikely friendship and courage formed in the watery, dark underworld.
Goliath Catfish was first published in July of 2012, but the original publisher decided to close its doors in April 2013, resulting with the young book going prematurely out of print. In June, Gill received an email from Philip Martin of Crispin Books in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“When I heard this book was going out of print and took a closer look at it, I knew right away it was a perfect project for Crispin Books,” said Martin, director of the award winning indie publisher. “Crispin is interested in books with real literary merit: compelling storytelling, memorable characters, and a strong sense of place. Catfish had all that in spades! It delivers a fast-paced story, with two great characters: the timid Albert and the charismatic Elijah. Sprinkle in lost treasure, mysterious caves, a skeleton or two, a little fishing, a whiff of Memphis barbecue…It all adds up to a book teenage boys would love to read. It just seemed the perfect chance to reissue it with a new home, a new cover, a new chance to spread the word on what a good read it is!”
And word is spreading.
The Rockwall Independent School District, where Gill teaches, adopted the novel onto its reading lists this summer and some teachers have already worked it into their lesson plans, one posting the following review on Amazon.com:
“My students and I loved this book. Each day they begged me to keep reading even though time was up. Full of vivid imagery and intriguing character development, this book tells the story of a young man’s adventure as he overcomes various obstacles in order to redeem himself…”
Goliath Catfish is available through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, but most associate the book’s “home” at Roma’s Books of Rockwall, the quaint new and used bookstore that hosted Gill’s first signing. “We are so excited at Roma’s Books to get in the new release of Goliath Catfish. Everyone loves the new cover which is very enticing,” said Lynn Fate, owner of Roma’s. “Many of our young adult readers who missed out originally will be in for a real treat!”
To read more about Goliath Catfish, visit the Crickhollow Books/ Crispin Books website at crickhollowbooks.com or cruise on over to Roma’s and grab you a copy. Some say it goes great with a big glass of sweet iced tea and a basket full of hushpuppies.
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