My Easy Read Books


The Way I See It Books

So what? Why should I care about your life if it doesn’t have to do with mine? To be real, you don’t have a clue on how bad it can get. As their world falls apart, the teens from Hancock High find that truth is not always clear. Will they be ready to accept help from the most unexpected places?

Ozzie – Book 1

Ozzie believes if he ignores all the voices in his head then he’ll make it. He’ll be what everyone expects him to be: Hancock High’s football all-star. But when the chance comes for him to prove who he really is, he becomes numb and doesn’t care about who may be hurt, as long as the comments don’t attack him. But Ozzie’s silence begins to impact those around him. As Ozzie’s world begins to fall apart, the voices in his head remain strong. If he takes a stand for anything, will it even matter? Or worse, if he does speak, will he cause more harm than good?

  • Lexile Level: HL580L
  • Interest Level: Young Adult

    Deals with mental health/suicidal thoughts / Confronts harassment / Touches on racism and stereotyping / Encourages self-reflection / Provides homelessness awareness / Broadens viewpoints while providing hope

Order The Way I See It: Ozzie by L. B. Tillit

Free Reading Guide for Ozzie

Zonta – Book 2
by L. B. Tillit

Just deal with it! It’s part of growing up. It’s the way guys are! Zonta tries to blow off the unwanted attention that is thrown her way. But it’s not working. Zonta is tired of being nice! It doesn’t matter how polite she is, or how hard she tries, she still feels alone. And if that wasn’t enough, every time she tries to explain herself or her thoughts, she ends up feeling dumb. She tries to do what is right, what is expected, but it only makes things worse. Is there really no one who cares enough to help? Is there no one who gets her?

Empowers resistance to sexual harassment / Addresses impact of ADHD / Dives into the need to be heard/taken seriously / Introduces role of self-defense / Touches on bi-racial upbringing / Underscores the importance of healthy friendships

Order The Way I See It: Zonta by L. B. Tillit


Blake – Book 3
by L. B. Tillit

Blake has a secret – a secret his mother has asked him not to share. If Blake can act normal, then no one will treat him differently. But Blake can’t shake the way others view him after the racist comments he made months earlier. To make things worse, fallout from a terrible attack on a student in his school turns his world upside down. Suddenly alone, Blake has only one hope left: wrestling. Can he win back his friends? Will people even believe his side of the story? Will his secret be safe, or should he defy his mother and let people know who he really is? As Blake faces his fears, he must also find a way to face his best friend who is suddenly his worst enemy.

Dives into the neurodivergent mind of someone with Autism / Addresses the destructive force of bullying and peer pressure / Introduces low-income family dynamics, strengths, and challenges / Embraces uniqueness and celebrates differences / Focuses on building healthy friendships

Order The Way I See It: Blake by L. B. Tillit


Emma – Book 4
by L. B. Tillit

Emma is pissed at the world. She has to be perfect, like her brother. But she won’t! She can’t be! Emma finds a reason to dislike most people. Yet, she is drawn to Blake, someone she used to hate. Without thinking it through she finds herself at the wrestling championship, hoping Blake feels the same way. But his world is very different from hers and she begins to wonder what she is doing. Her best friend, Billy, pushes Emma to look at why she makes bad choices. Emma refuses to listen to Billy and wrestles with a dark family secret as her anger spirals out of control.

Provides an Asian- American perspective / Deals with anger and judgment / Faces stereotyping and racism / Embraces differences between cultures / Addresses academic struggles / Provides homelessness awareness / Broadens viewpoints

Order The Way I See It: Emma by L. B. Tillit


Mateo – Book 5
by L. B. Tillit

Don’t draw attention to yourself! Blend in and stay quiet.  It is how Mateo has been raised. Being chill and a loner at Hancock High has become his identity. But he is tired of it! He knows he needs to protect his community, but does that mean he should remain silent when something is clearly wrong? He knows that if he speaks out then people could be hurt. But if he doesn’t do something, someone he really cares about may continue to suffer. He hates that he can’t help his friend, but he doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know who to turn to. Who can he trust? He holds onto the one thing that he does best, sing and shred his guitar. Mateo dives into his music, a safe place, a place where he can stand out and not worry. But when his rock band faces their first battle of the bands, Mateo has to face reality. He can no longer stay quiet.

Provides a Mexican-American perspective / Touches on challenges immigrants face / Reveals struggles with fighting injustice / Faces stereotyping and racism / Addresses physical abuse / Focuses on building healthy friendships / Broadens viewpoints while embracing diversity

Order The Way I See It: Mateo by L. B. Tillit

More in The Way I See It Series

Learn more about the Author LB Tillit

To Stand on Solid Ground: A Civil War Novel Based on Real People and Events

By Leslie Parker Borhaug and G. Keith Parker

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Buy wholesale through Ingram. 

Based on real people and real events, To Stand on Solid Ground brings to life an unusual relationship between Confederate loyalists and Union sympathizers. The story is a deeply human take on the Civil War and the multiple battlefronts that challenged this mountain county and its people; struggles which our nation still faces today. To Stand on Solid Ground does more than merely report historical events; it transports the reader back in time to face the profound need to support each other in a time of intense polarity.  It offers insight, lessons and hope fitting to our current political divide.

Audience:  Adults/ Young Adult

Key descriptors:  Historical fiction, based on real people and events, Civil War, Appalachian Mountains, Reconstruction, split loyalties, slavery, coming of age, finding hope, applicable to current political tensions.

Book Summary:  As a nation faces civil war and slavery is on the risk of collapse, a mountain community must make difficult choices; ones that involve life or death. Ones that risk shattering the bonds between family and friends.

North Carolina secedes from the United States of America the same day Transylvania County is formed. It is the same day Robert Hamilton is appointed as its first sheriff.  Many in the community share Robert’s opposition to slavery and his public plea to avoid secession, but the call to fight for, and support, the South is louder and clearly expected.  Robert must find a way to uphold his oath as sheriff and be true to his conscience, even if it means bending the rules. Read more

The 2020 Award of Excellence Winner           – North Carolina Society of Historians

. . .thought provoking, educational, enthralling, haunting, deserving of a second read, and worthy of praise and recognition.

Not lost on the reader are stark parallels between the politics and divergent opinions and loyalties that tore at the fabric of society, even families, during the highly emotional and turbulent years of the Civil War and the civil unrest that challenges the foundational core of the United States today. 

North Carolina Society of Historians

With sparing language reflective of this hard time and the characters living through it, the reader’s plate is continuously filled with strong images spiced with emotions. The pace and timing are effortless.

Ben Onachila – prize-winning author


Sons of Mercy and Justice: A Transylvania Story

By G. Keith Parker and Leslie P. Borhaug

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Sons of Mercy and Justice: A Transylvania Story weaves past and present together leaving the reader with a delightful taste of the people who settled the North Carolina Mountains and their strength that still defines the region today.

Audience:  Adults/ Young Adult

Key Descriptors:  Historical fiction, based on real people and events, 1840’s through 1908 and present-day parallel story, Appalachian Mountains, bootlegging, fighting stereotyping and prejudice.

Book Summary:  The troublesome eighteen-hundreds seriously challenge the mountain folk of Western North Carolina.  The McGaha family is no exception and confronts the many trials with more kindness than most contemporaries.  Respected for his compassion for man and beast alike, Craf McGaha becomes known far and wide for his hospitality and mercy, especially when he and his wife set up a free weigh-station for the many drovers and their animals traveling along the turnpike on the way to market. Yet, in 1861 when Transylvania County is being newly formed, war erupts and Craf is forced into the Confederate army and he finds himself torn between fighting on the side of his conscience or on the side of his state. Read more

A North Carolina Society of Historians Award Winner

This is a magnificent story of the McGaha family and how they lived their lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  It describes their way of life in such a way that the reader is able to share their emotions in all different situations and at all levels.  Every now and then the story shocks us, surprises us, as something happens that was not expected . . . just as it happens in “real” life.

The book is set up where we are with the McGaha’s in one segment, Millie the next, McGaha, Millie, and so on; past present, etc.  We were taken in by both storylines, never bored . . . we didn’t have time to be!

North Carolina Society of Historians