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Adam W. Jones

Cecil and the Big Wave is a confidence-building children’s book, written by Adam W. Jones and illustrated by Alessandro Pastori. Cecil is much smaller than the other ants. Often he is teased and bullied because of his small size and it makes him sad. One day, Cecil flees from the mockery and makes his way to Anthill Beach. On spotting a cave, Cecil enters and sits, enjoying the peace. Uncle Juba follows close behind, and explains to Cecil that it is how he feels on the inside that is important, not what the bullies say. Uncle Juba then teaches Cecil how to surf, hoping to take his mind off his troubles. Pretty soon, Cecil would not even hear the other ants taunt him, as he only had surfing on his mind. When a storm creates a giant wave, Cecil is excited by the thrill of the challenge that awaits him. Well written, Cecil’s story is one of bullying, defeat and self-hatred, which transforms itself into excitement and glee. Adam W. Jones captures a defeatist’s anxiety levels perfectly, showing how taunting and teasing someone can very easily cause them to feel a sense of self-loathing and loneliness. The introduction of Uncle Juba—an old surfer who lives for the perfect wave—is ideal, as Uncle Juba forces Cecil to focus on things that he is good at, even if it means trying something new. I was able to emotionally connect with Cecil, empathizing with his situation on a truly deep level. The beautiful color illustrations bring out the emotions of the story even more so. I applaud Adam W. Jones’ story-telling abilities, and recommend this book to be read by children aged 5-12, showing them that there is always an up side to everything, and that believing in yourself is more important than any negative thing somebody might have to say about you.


—Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

A bullied little ant surfs his way to confidence, proving that small creatures can accomplish great things in this picture book. Cecil is a young ant who comes every day to play in Aardvark Park, but the other kids bully him for being small. One day, upset, he runs down to Anthill Beach, where he encounters his Uncle Juba, who sports dreadlocks and speaks in patois. He tells Cecil: 'Feeling good about yourself is more important than what others t’ink.' Observing Surfer Ant riding the waves, Cecil is inspired, begging Uncle Juba to teach him how to surf. After some lessons and at least one wipeout, Cecil is ready. The next day on the beach, he walks right past the mean ants and runs boldly toward the rough water they’re afraid to try. He rides a huge wave, and everyone is impressed. They praise him, apologizing for the teasing, and Cecil forgives them, having realized that 'being little doesn’t mean you can’t do whatever you want.' Jones (Fate Ball, 2016) aims to encourage kids to set targets, practice, and gain confidence. These are commendable goals, and mastering skills is a superb self-esteem booster . . . Debut illustrator Pastori’s images are clever—Cecil’s hair looks like ant larvae—well-composed and appropriately dynamic.

—Kirkus Reviews

“Riveting from the beginning. Cleverly funny and yet, at times painfully moving. Jones has done a remarkable job of capturing a snapshot in time.”


—Michele Summers, author,



“Funny, thrilling, and ultimately heartbreaking, FATE BALL is a wild ride through a young man’s first experience with the tragic companionship of love and loss. You’ll be rooting for Able and Ava, but it isn’t meant to be.”


—Andrew Park, author,



“FATE BALL is a captivating tragic love story. I found myself cheering
for Able and wincing at Ava’s downward spiral. A fabulous first novel from
a special voice.”


—Cathy East, Writer/Editor


“FATE BALL is an unforgettable romantic tragedy [. . .]

Jones elegantly portrays love and calamity, faith and fate, and heartache and despair. How can love be so wonderful and so horrible?

FATE BALL, magnifies the eternal truth—love never fails.”


—Cheryl E. Rodriguez (5/5 stars from Readers’ Favorite)



“…a story so searing that a reader’s heart will actually ache [. . .] Adam W. Jones has done a simply fantastic job in creating a story line that will captivate his readers from the very first page and will keep them reading obsessively until the very last word. His ability to create characters that his readers will relate to, care about, and continue to think about long after the story is done is simply second to none.”


—Tracy A. Fischer (5/5 stars from Readers’ Favorite)



“Adam W. Jones’ novel reveals a dysfunctional relationship that may sound familiar to some people as addiction to drugs is becoming more prevalent nowadays. What makes his novel refreshing is that he does not completely condemn Ava, albeit the author treats her addiction like a disease. As such, this novel is also a commentary on one of the serious problems that faces our society today and how it is being dealt with by the people concerned. And if destiny has a hand in shaping our lives, can we do something to guide it in the right direction?”


—Maria Beltran (5/5 stars from Readers’ Favorite)



“FATE BALL by Adam W. Jones is a mix of the delight and the cozy contentment of love, as well as the anguish of rejection. A touching, tragic story of young love . . . completely irresistible.”


—Patricia Day (5/5 stars from Readers’ Favorite)


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