Book Review, Coming of Age, Family Relationships, Lacrosse, Native Americans, NetGalley, YA Fiction

Right Handed Lefty by Ryan Coughlin

As long as Ellis Sayre could remember, he wanted to know his real parents. He was Native American and had the brown skin to prove it. Which exact tribe was a mystery; he didn’t have the luxury of that information. It was hard for him to gauge why he was the way he was. Awkward. Difficult. Disinterested.

Ellis was lacking in self-confidence, had sensitive nerves, would have anxiety attacks, and could not play badminton if his life depended on it. Considering that Ellis was the “most unwanted child under one year old” at the orphanage, was returned to the orphanage by his first adoptive parents, and felt like an outsider with his new adoptive parents, it was no wonder he considered himself different and unwanted. However, his friends George, defender of the less fortunate, and Mason, the wisecracking ninja warrior, accepted him as the honest, quirky, “Native Warrior” that he was.

When Mason mentioned that his family didn’t have any money for food because his dad’s store closed, George suggested stealing day-old bread thrown away in the trash by the Schaefer’s Bread and Bakery. Unfortunately, while carrying out their plan, they witnessed a murder and the police didn’t believe them. With their lives in danger, they go on the run from the menacing madman, Ray Schaefer, “sole distributor of all things illegal”, who is out for revenge.

This is a coming-of-age story set in Wisconsin intermingled with the past life of a Native American named Right Handed Lefty. The author skillfully shares similarities between Ellis and Right Handed Lefty and throws in a bit of mysticism and some historical facts on the Native American sport of lacrosse which was reportedly discovered by explorers near the territory, now named Wisconsin, as early as the 1600s. The added murder and suspense to the book seemed strange at first, but it grabbed my attention enough to find out what happened. The three boys were both vulnerable and resilient in their own ways and their journey captivates the reader. If you like Stand By Me, give this one a try.

Thank you to Mr. Coughlin, CHBB Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.


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Ryan Coughlin is an odd duck born in Watertown, Wisconson–the biggest farm town in two counties. A place ingrained in German-Irish heritage and dairy farms. He has never tipped or milked a cow. His love for entertainment beamed him from Wisconsin to Southern California, where he resides with his wife and two sons. He writes books and movie scripts. In addition to “Right Handed Lefty”, Coughlin’s horror novel “The Landlord” and short story “Off the Rails” have been published under a pen name William Press. Although he writes with two names, he’s just one guy. The nom de plume is an exercise in branding. William Press tells dark tales; Ryan Coughlin brings the light.


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