We are incredibly excited to host author Len Vlahos when he discusses & signs his first book, The Scar Boys on Monday, February 24 at 6:30pm. The event will also feature musical performances by Len, as well as his opening act, Friday Jams, a band featuring students from nearby Monrovia High School. We think it’ll be a pretty fun evening!
Len is a great friend of the book world and we are thrilled to be a stop on his busy book tour! If you’re looking for a compelling story with strong characters, complete with 80s rock and that coming-of-age relevance (or nostalgia), take a look at The Scar Boys.
The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos (YA fiction, ages 12 & up, Egmont USA)
Told as a longer-than-required college application essay, The Scar Boys chronicles the tumultuous life of Harbinger (Harry) Jones. Harry recounts how, at 8 years old, he was badly burned when neighborhood bullies tied him to a tree during a storm, and the tree caught on fire after it was struck by lightning. Years later, when Harry is in 8th grade, he is rescued from bullies by his well-liked classmate, Johnny, who later suggests that they start a band together. Discovering music changes his life and provides an escape, but also prompts people to see him for who he is on the inside and not just for his scars. In this coming-of-age story, Harry learns about who he is, what he loves, and the true meaning of friendship.
Every so often, a book comes along that just absolutely steals the hearts of employees here at Vroman’s, and The Scar Boys is definitely one of those books. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“When Harry is involved in an awful lightning incident, at the age of 8, his life is turned upside down as he is forced to live with the hideous scars for the rest of his life. Upon his return to school he makes a friend, Johnny, who takes him under his wing. When Harry is rejected by a girl and feeling down, Johnny suggests that they start a band. And thus, The Scar Boys are born! Taking place in the early 1980s, The Scar Boys forge a punk rock sound that earns them a good reputation around town, and eventually they decide on a summer tour. They hop in an old van and embark on a wild and tumultuous journey that threatens the fate of the band and Harry’s relationship with Johnny and the other members. [In The Scar Boys] Vlahos weaves a wonderfully introspective story of growth, friendships, and self-acceptance. It is a truly inspiring story the whole way through.”
– Nolan, Children’s Department bookseller
“I love, love, love this book! Harbinger seemed doomed in the beginning, but then friendship, punk rock, and a girl change everything. This is a great coming of age story.”
– Leticia, Vroman’s Children’s Department bookseller
“Author Len Vlahos is one of the good guys. He is not only my dear friend, but a friend to indie booksellers everywhere, having formerly acted as the COO for the American Booksellers Association. And isn’t it great when the good guys win? Len has done just that with his debut young adult (14-adult) novel, The Scar Boys—described by The New York Times Book Review as “(a) wry, stylish tale.” Publisher’s Weekly called it “a coming-of-age/rock-and-roll mashup,” and that pretty much sums it up. It’s a great read for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, aficionados of 80s rock, young adult readers looking for a great male protagonist, and aspiring writers looking for inspiration—Len got up early every day to write before work, and ended up writing an awesome book.”
– Allison Hill, President/CEO, Vroman’s Bookstore
There’s even an audiobook version, complete with tracks recorded by the artist himself!
About the Author
Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school at age 19 to go on the road with a touring punk/pop band called the Woofing Cookies, which eventually became the backdrop for The Scar Boys. He now works in the book industry and lives with his wife and two children in Connecticut.
Connect with the Author
A quick stop to his website teaches you a lot about Len Vlahos as a writer and artist— he’s quite prolific in his posts, and he wants his readers to join him in discussions about a variety of topics, so take a look!
You can follow him on Twitter @LenVlahos.