The tour, which I am in the process of scheduling, will offer readers a chance to buy copies of the newly-published 10th anniversary edition of Devil's Messenger, a book that former Superintendent C. J. Huff and other Joplin R-8 officials thought was so evil that it was pulled off the shelves of school libraries.
And what would a "Banned in Joplin" book tour be without a book described as pornography by Huff and noted book critics Anson Burlingame and Geoff Caldwell, yes, that infamous book that got me fired- No Child Left Alive.
I will also have copies of the book that came as a result of the circumstances surrounding the banning of Devil's Messenger, Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud: Greed, Corruption, and the Joplin Tornado, plus Let Teachers Teach.
The anniversary edition of Devil's Messenger, which includes a "Banned in Joplin" label, became available today on Amazon.com.
Devil's Messenger was my second book, following Small Town News, and is a horror-mystery novel. It was a popular book with my students (and no, C. J. I never assigned it or any of my other books to them), and I have always thought it was my best work, though I have come close to it with Silver Lining and No Child Left Alive. (Of course, others say I have yet to do any good work, but I choose to ignore them.)
The following description of Devil's Messenger comes from its Amazon page:
Cassandra Harper’s life was shattered on a hot August night. First, she became a victim of date rape, then the body of her beloved father, Richard Harper, is found slumped over the computer he gave Cassandra for her 14th birthday.
From that point on, Cassandra withdraws from the world, reserving her communications to her anonymously written blog … and to instant messenger communications with her dead father.
Devil’s Messenger, a combination horror story and murder mystery, is the story of how Cassandra battles from the brink of despair to reclaim her life, and her evil father who attempts to continue his reign of terror from beyond the grave.
Adding to the mix is Richard Harper’s murderer, who is manipulating Cassandra’s family and everyone else in the small community of Westport seeking the hidden fortune that Harper left behind. Devil’s Messenger is a roller coaster ride of terror from beginning to end.