The Serpent King – Jeff Zentner – Realistic, Friendship
Three friends - all of them outcasts in their rural Tennessee town. Dillard Early (Dill) is the third person in his family with this name, and he’d like to change it. His grandfather was known as the Serpent King because he killed snakes for revenge on his daughter’s death. Dill’s father, pastor of a snake-handling church, is now in jail for a terrible crime. Dill and his mother struggle to make ends meet and don’t always see eye to eye. Travis is a fantasy loving gentle giant who works in the family lumberyard, trying to avoid his alcoholic father’s abuse. Lydia, an only child to a loving, middle class couple, is Internet famous as the author of a fashion blog. She is looking toward college as a way to escape this “hick” town. Lydia can’t stand to see her friends suffering. She is the encourager of the group, promoting Dill’s musical talent and Travis’ love of fantasy books. But when tragedy strikes….