Dartmouth Middle School teacher publishes debut novel
Brian Amado has been a special education teacher at Dartmouth Middle School for the past 11 years. He is now a published author, after releasing a young adult novel.
Titled Coin Toss, it’s the debut novel in Amado’s First and Ten Series: Featuring Jeremy Savage. The book tells the story of Savage, a star eighth grade quarterback who has been offered a scholarship to play football at a prestigious private high school.
However, Savage’s friendships at his local high school are strong, and he is unsure about leaving them behind. The novel takes place as he makes his decision during the summer after eighth grade.
Amado said the novel is centered around a strong group of friends, an element of the story inspired by his own life. In fact, he is still close with many of his friends from high school.
“The biggest part is definitely the friends,” he said. “That’s really what I wanted the core of the story to be. He’s got a close knit group of friends, and they go through a slew of different things together, just like I did in high school, just like a lot of kids do when they’re in eighth grade or high school.”
For Amado, writing also dates back to his childhood. His mother recently found a story he wrote in fourth or fifth grade.
“I’ve always liked to write,” Amado said. “I’ve always liked to read. It’s always been something I’ve kind of messed around with.” He’s been writing for a good portion of his adult life as well, but this is the first book he’s completed.
Coin Toss isn’t strictly a sports novel, but football definitely has a strong presence. Amado noted a lot of the kids at Dartmouth Middle School are athletes — both the boys and the girls.
“Truth be told, in eighth grade, a lot of the girls are better athletes than the boys,” he said.
A priority for Amado is it will be one book kids and their parents can be proud to read.
“It’s also someone for an average kid to look up to. This kid’s a really good athlete, and he’s also just a good person. And at the same time, it’s okay to have someone you look up to be those things,” Amado said of the main character.
He said he frequently observes students in his classroom laughing off poor grades, but knows those outer reactions may not match how they actually feel.
“That’s really what I want people to get out of it,” he said. “That there are wholesome people that you can look up to that are just good, average everyday people- that also happen to be really good at something.”
The book was published earlier this month, and is available as a paperback or ebook on Amazon.