Copy Boy Review

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About the Book

Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.

Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.

Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.

Jane’s got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.

Praise for Copy Boy

“This is Raymond Chandler for feminists.” ―Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra

“An expressive and striking story that examines what one does for family and for oneself.” ―Kirkus Reviews


At the beginning of the year I realized that I hadn’t read many books set in the Depression era, and swiftly said that I needed to rectify this. So I was extremely excited when I was given a chance to read Copy Boy. Not only is it set in a time period I’ve been wanting to read more about, but it’s such a unique and interesting story.

This book is one part suspense and one part mystery. It’s really such an intriguing story following Jane as she dresses as a boy in order to have a better life. And while this is a historical fiction, the concept is not something that is too far off from today. And speaking of this being a historical fiction, it is a very obviously well researched one. I really love when I can pick up a book and immediately tell that the author prepared for the story and the content. I love not only being transported back into the time period, but also knowing that it is a (fairly) accurate representation of the time.

This book was such a fantastic read! It had so many different elements in the story plus it is a great historical fiction in its own right. The characters were all so interesting and left you wanting more and more. There were a couple of places where the story seemed to lull a little, but it quickly picked back up and those moment gave you a chance to “take a breath” from all of the suspense.

About the Author

Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. She teaches college writing in Northern California and consults with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers’ Conference. Copy Boy is her first novel, and she’s currently working on her second. She also writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find at such journals as Brevity and Cleaver. She and her husband live in Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state sons.

*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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