THE MEAN

READ EXCERPT

The chart had symbols and areas that were unknown to them. The leader leaned in and pointed to a section that displayed thick intersecting black lines on an accented area that indicated it was a place of heavy population. Many blue and red roads crisscrossed one another as they stretched from west to east, moving along a narrow strip of land, bordered by bodies of water.
“This is the great capital of New York City. We will not strike there where so many expect targets to be located.” His long, dark index finger moved eastward, following the patterns of the roads. “Instead, our objective is to the east where those who work in this great American city live with their families and believe they are safe. This is also the location of Abdul Jehmar’s family. He is seldom there, but that is of no consequence. It is his children we are after, and they live here on what is called Long Island.”
His finger stopped on a large round dot approximately a third of the way along the middle of the narrow land mass. “This is the place where all three of Abdul Jehmar’s beautiful young daughters attend school. Central High School it is called. Here is where we will strike.”

AUTHOR: John Arthur Long
GENRE: Adult Fiction
PUBLISHED: Jan 17, 2017
With a supply of Sarin nerve gas as well as explosives and automatic weapons, members of a radical group who believe they have been betrayed by a high level Middle East negotiator decide to seek revenge by attacking a Long Island high school attended by the negotiator’s daughters. It is against the horrific shadow of this approaching attack, that THE MEAN reveals the inner conflicts of Central High School through the humorous, sometimes sardonic viewpoint of the school’s Assistant Principal Brian Scarlucci as he deals with daily school issues like an angry student leaving fecal deposits around the school and a mafia captain who tries to pay Scarlucci a huge amount of cash to make up for crime figure son’s bad school behavior. Scarlucci must also come to the defense of his best friend, a black English teacher named Ken Valentine, who is being brought to task for teaching meditation in his classroom while students listen to a recorded soundtrack of Sacred Tibetan Gongs on iPads because Valentine believes the tones can open their minds to the true learning of The Golden Mean. Unfortunately, before discipline can be taken, one of Mr. Valentine’s female students commits suicide while listening to the meditation tape and Scarlucci must summon all his skills to defend Valentine against what he knows are false charges. And it is the midst of all these school day conflicts and more that Scarlucci is suddenly confronted by an unimaginable horror as the terrorists arrive, capable of bringing death to all those in Central High on the meanest day of all. Told with elements of heart-rending pathos, and nerve-racking tension, THE MEAN is a riveting novel of school days filled with scenes of disarming humor, interpersonal conflict, and unexpected chaos, violence and terror in a story that looks at the nature of true learning, the best and worst in public education, the drama of human relationships, and the threat of violence that has recently become such an integral part of our lives.