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Shortly after moving from small-town Johnson Place to the metropolitan borough Manor City, Paul Jones meets his neighbor Desmond Peterson and they become instant friends, bonding over their love of a video game called Tangorka. When Desmond moves away just before the start of their freshman year of high school, Paul wonders if he'll ever find a friend like Desmond again.

After suffering through four months of school without someone to hang out with, he makes fast-friends with a fellow Tangorka player-a kid named Anik Hatcher who Paul meets in after-school detention. Paul starts spending time with Anik outside of school and meets his gang that creates mischief throughout Manor City.

But the mischief quickly turns into real violence, and once Paul becomes a key player in their most harmful "prank" yet, he'll soon learn who his real friends are-and how the decisions he makes, good or bad, can quickly affect his whole life.

The Hard Way

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The Hard Way was awarded Honorable Mention for Young Adult Fictions through Story Monsters LLC in 2018.


After serving nine months at Creekside Juvenile Detention Center, Paul Jones returns to Brooklyn Heights for his junior year, eager to make better decisions. Josh Alberts is also back, starting his senior year at Mulston High after spending almost a year at Creekside. The two had been involved in the same Homecoming game prank last year.

On his first day back to school, Josh discovers he is ineligible to rejoin the Mulston baseball team. Varsity shortstop Caleb Townson is the hot-shot senior who takes Josh’s place on the team—and threatens Josh’s plans for a full-ride scholarship next year. Unable to cope with his feelings of anger, Josh makes Caleb’s younger brother, Shawn, a target.

How will this affect Shawn’s freshman year at Mulston High? Will Paul succeed in carving out a new, better path for himself at Brooklyn Heights? Find out in Shawn’s Way, book two of The Way Series and sequel to The Hard Way.

Shawn's Way

Shawns Way

The Hard Way by Selma Verde is a new young adult book and a good one. This book was a great find. The story was intriguing, the main character young Paul grapples between loyalty to his friends and how he wrestles with his truth, then weaves into a mystery that leads you into the next series. Overall, this is definitely a book I would recommend for adults and young adults to read and enjoy.

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- Steve C.

A great novel for young people that is well written by Selma P. Verde. Selma keeps the reader engaged, and paints a vivid picture of how young adults can fall victim to peer pressure. Highly recommended!

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- The Sarge

The Hard Way written by Selma P. Verde is a gripping tale and page turner for tweens and adults, as well.
Readers will experience a roller coaster of events in this descriptive and well written book.
I highly recommend this story, with exciting scenes, important friendships on who to trust, and how family connections are so important.

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- Rosie Russell

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