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Northern Virginia Father Writes His Way To Hope (Originally broadcast May 11, 2012)

Matt McNeil's new young adult novel, "The Strange Tale of Ben Beesley," is about a fly named Ben who sets out to save his two friends, Waverly and Oliver, from a spider's poisonous venom. But the book is actually part allegory/part memoir, since McNeil's real-life children suffer from MPS III: a rare, degenerative and ultimately terminal genetic condition.


Review: 'Evel Knievel Days'

In Pauls Toutonghi's novel, the main character travels from Butte, Mont., to Cairo, hoping to connect with his Egyptian father.

'A Door In The Ocean' Leads To Dark Depths

In his new memoir, David McGlynn describes how his teenage years were disrupted by violence. McGlynn was a swimmer who turned to evangelical Christianity in college. A Door in the Ocean is a compelling coming-of-age story marked by random tragedy and biblical tracts, church coffee and chlorine.

NewsPoet: Paisley Rekdal Writes The Day In Verse

Each month, NPR's All Things Considered invites a poet into the newsroom to see how the show comes together, and to write an original poem about the news. This month, our NewsPoet is Paisley Rekdal. Want to write your own poem about the day's news? You can put them in the comments below.

Alan Cheuse Reviews 'The Colonel'

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi's new novel, The Colonel, tells the story of an Iranian military figure whose personal life demonstrates the strains in the social and political order of his native land.

'The Life That Follows' Disarming IEDs In Iraq

Brian Castner commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs and investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings. He returned home a completely different man, which he details in his memoir, The Long Walk.