Jim Lester is an award winning multi-genre writer who has written young adult novels, sports histories, biographies, coffee table books and institutional histories. He holds a Ph.D. in history and has taught American history and Western Civilization at both the high school and college levels. His courses have included “The History of Sports in America,” “The History of Rock ‘n Roll,” and “Popular Culture in the 20th Century.”
The Great Pretender
Twelve-year old Archie Lane’s next door neighbor is a killer. Archie has uncovered that terrible secret, but no one will believe him. If he doesn’t find a way to convince his parents he witnessed a real murder, the results could be fatal fro Archie. Set in the fall of 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, a city torn apart by one of the nation’s first civil rights crises, Archie’s suspense-filled story recounts his transition from an idyllic world to the incomprehensible world of adulthood. Throughout his story, the reader watches Archie struggle to come to terms with the subtleties of right and wrong.
Till the Rivers All Run Dry
In 1941, when thirteen-year-old Ricky Parker’s family is uprooted from their home in Arkansas and relocated to Venezuela, Ricky thinks his life is over. But what he finds in a rough and tumble oil camp on the banks of Lake Maracaibo is the adventure of a lifetime. An adventure filled with Nazi spies, treachery, betrayal, true love, and even murder. While touching on issues that remain relevant today, such as racism and America’s reliance on foreign oil, this coming-of-age novel is a page turning, high-octane suspense tale of star-crossed young lovers set in exotic wartime Venezuela.
Greater Little Rock: A Pictorial History
GREATER LITTLE ROCK tells the exciting and intriguing history of the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. It’s the story of memorable people, places, things, and events beginning with the age of the Native Americans and the explorations of Hernando de Soto. Popular history is combined with nostalgia and a large collection of photographs to present the flavor that makes Little Rock a unique community. Available on Amazon.com and also at the official Clinton Presidential Library Book Store, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Danny McCall loves basketball more than anything in the world. So why would he risk his basketball scholarship, his relationship with his girlfriend, and his entire future to fix the point spread in a series of college basketball games? These questions haunt Danny as he sits with his beloved coach’s dead body waiting for the police. While journeying back with Danny and his peers to find the answers, we witness the difficult and dangerous choices Danny makes that leads him to this untenable position. We witness his friendship with his team’s amoral star and his involvement with a pair of sleazy gamblers. We witness the struggling relationship between Danny and the girl he loves. And finally, we witness the demise of an upstanding coach who always tried to inspire his players to do the right thing. Set in the early 1990s, Shadow Games is an exciting page-turner, filled with realistic basketball action and characters wrestling with dark underworld influences. In light of the recent scandals in college basketball, Shadow Games is a topical novel for readers of all ages. Above all else, the book is a powerful portrayal of the loss of youthful innocence.
The People’s College: Little Rock Junior College and Little Rock University, 1927-1969
The People’s College presents the history of one of Little Rock’s premier institutions. The book shows how the school started as an extension of the local high school and eventually became a major university and includes a behind the scenes look at a national championship junior college football team, political intrigue at the state capital and stories of the hundreds of students whose lives were changed by the school.
Call to a Nightmare: A Dr. Gabriel and Miss Bishop Thriller
It was the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age. The era of Model T Fords and flappers, bootleggers and G-men. Spiritualism was all the rage and everybody wanted to talk to the dead. Except Dr. Alex Gabriel, who thought talking to dead people was ridiculous. Until he met Savannah Bishop, the country’s most unique medium. Using Savannah’s contacts with the World Beyond, Dr. Gabriel and Miss Bishop set out to solve a series of brutal murders that range from the glitz of Hollywood to the backwoods of Arkansas and eventually to the bohemian Left Bank of Paris and finally to pre-Nazi Berlin.
Hoop Crazy: College Basketball in the 1950s (eBook Only)
What do Wilt Chamberlain, Adolph Rupp, the fictional character Chip Hilton, the CCNY Beavers, the future director of Monday Night Football and a coach who won the national championship and ended his career driving a school bus have in common? The answer is they were all part of the wonderful tapestry of college basketball in the 1950s. Set against a backdrop of the Korean War, McCarthyism, hoola-hoops and Elvis Presley, Hoop Crazy is the inspiring story of how college basketball overcame the disastrous gambling scandals of 1951 and emerged a decade later as a major component of the American sports scene.
Deadline: New York
The cheap paperback PI novel was about a dark conspiracy inside the U.S. government. The novel was great fun. But what if it was true? Set in the summer of 1952, Deadline: New York centers on the emerging paperback book industry in New York City. The protagonist is a former Naval intelligence officer and best-selling writer of paperback adventure novels who is asked by a secretary at his publishing house to investigate the suicide of her boyfriend. At the heart of the investigation is a state senate hearing on obscenity in the paperback industry and, as the story progresses, the protagonist uncovers a widespread conspiracy inside the government, law enforcement and America’s major corporations.
Four stars . . . a wonderful book for anyone who looks back at the golden age of America . . .
Lester’s powerful coming-of-age novel looks with frankness and hard headed humor at the tangled webs that lies can weave and at the turbulent legacy of the Vietnam War.
A fast paced, clever coming-of-age story . . . Salingeresque in spirit.
a powerful message concerning courage and the nature of true heroism.