The Mentor by Ryan Shelton
Vincent Preston is in real trouble. With absentee parents, he raises himself, barely graduating high school, and has one chance to get out of his small town: baseball. He has a strong arm, but unfortunately he is wild, out of control. Thankfully, his English teacher, Mrs. Dean, introduces him to her husband, “Grandpa Dean,” a gruff WWII veteran and former Major League Baseball scout who missed his shot when he was injured in the war. He is riddled with cancer and is looking for one last chance at atonement for carrying around his anger for so long. Vincent’s mentor teaches him not only how to take advantage of his natural talent, but to trust in God. He’ll need his newfound faith in Christ to overcome his shady coach, the coach’s bully of a son, and the local drug dealer, all of whom are intent on wrecking his dreams.
Vincent doesn’t have much in life. An abusive father, a disinterested mother, no friends. He has finished high school with less than impressive grades and has no promising prospects for the future. But he does have determination and a love of baseball which provide him an opportunity to play for the state championship team.
Unfortunately, the coach and his all-star son resent Vincent and nearly destroy his one opportunity to better himself. When an elderly couple see potential in Vincent, they step in to become the loving parents the teen has never had. They believe in him. They see he is a good person, a hard worker, a talented ball player, and a child of God.
This is a beautiful story about how important a mentor can be. Even with a loving family, a mentor who is not a parent can make a huge difference. When someone you respect believes in you, that can give you the confidence you need to believe in yourself. This person has the ability to give constructive criticism and guidance that doesn’t feel personal but helpful.
I know that I probably wouldn’t have become a published author without the writing mentor that helped me succeed. I have had two spiritual mentors as well. A mentor can be a coach, a family friend, a teacher, a co-worker. But these are people who can make a huge difference in a life. If you ever have a chance to thank your mentor, do it. And if you have an opportunity to help someone with your own expertise, don’t hesitate, you might make a huge difference for someone.
A Note From the Reviewer:
As a writer and a mother, I’m always searching for wonderful Christian books for teens of all ages. I truly believe one way we can encourage teens in their faith is through fiction with positive messages, embedded in great stories. There are many fantastic Christian and Catholic teen novels out today but they can be hard to find. I’m excited to share some of these books with you.