Article Title

The Serpent King


Emma Patton


Excellent, Young Adult, Social media; misfits; coming-of-age; college; poverty; religion; music; friendship; high school; domestic abuse; small town; grief

Document Type

Book Review


Unfortunately, Dill Early has the same name as his father. Dill lives in a small town, and his father is well-known as the head of a religious congregation that dabbles in snakes and poisons, as well as prayer. But Dillard Early, Sr. was sent to jail for possessing child pornography. With that reputation following him, Dill can’t help but feel trapped. While his best friend Lydia is planning on heading to college, Dill lives in poverty and is saddled with his family's debts, so even that escape does not seem possible. It is his senior year of high school, and Dill has so much to think about. He has to grapple with his changing feelings for his best friend, the shame of comparing his own impoverished circumstances to those of his friends, and the unexpected grieving that comes up for him when tragedy strikes in the middle of the school year.