Hide Cookie Control notification

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your experience at our website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been stored. You may remove and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to remove them, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue using this site, please click here.

  Main Nav
The Serpent King
Cover of The Serpent King
The Serpent King
Borrow Borrow Borrow
A William C. Morris Award FinalistA New York Times Notable BookAn Amazon Best Book of the YearA Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the YearA Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA Shelf Awareness Best Teen...
A William C. Morris Award FinalistA New York Times Notable BookAn Amazon Best Book of the YearA Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the YearA Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA Shelf Awareness Best Teen...
Available Formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • A William C. Morris Award Finalist
    A New York Times Notable Book
    An Amazon Best Book of the Year
    A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A Shelf Awareness Best Teen Book of the Year
    Named to BuzzFeed's "Best YA Books of 2016" list!
    Named to Mashable's "Best YA Book of the Year" list!
    "Move over, John Green; Zentner is coming for you." —The New York Public Library
    "Will fill the infinite space that was left in your chest after you finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower." —BookRiot.com

    Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

    The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill's only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending—one that will rock his life to the core.

    In this William C. Morris Award Finalist, debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and at times comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one's true self in the wreckage of the past.
    "A story about friendship, family and forgiveness, it's as funny and witty as it is utterly heartbreaking." —PasteMagazine.com

    "A brutally honest portrayal of teen life . . . [and] a love letter to the South from a man who really understands it." —Mashable.com
    "I adored all three of these characters and the way they talked to and loved one another."—New York Times
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book 1

    Dill

    There were things Dillard Wayne Early Jr. dreaded more than the start of school at Forrestville High. Not many, but a few. Thinking about the future was one of them. Dill didn't enjoy doing that. He didn't much care for talking about religion with his mother. That never left him feeling happy or saved. He loathed the flash of recognition that usually passed across people's faces when they learned his name. That rarely resulted in a conversation he enjoyed.

    And he really didn't enjoy visiting his father, Pastor Dillard Early Sr., at Riverbend Prison. His trip to Nashville that day wasn't to visit his father, but he still had a nagging sense of unformed dread and he didn't know why. It might have been because school was starting the next day, but this felt different somehow than in years past.

    It would have been worse except for the excitement of seeing Lydia. The worst days spent with her were better than the best days spent without her.

    Dill stopped strumming his guitar, leaned forward, and wrote in the dollar-store composition book open on the floor in front of him. The decrepit window air conditioner wheezed, losing the battle against the mugginess of his living room.

    The thudding of a wasp at the window caught his attention over the laboring of the air conditioner. He rose from the ripped sofa and walked to the window, which he jimmied until it screeched open.

    Dill swatted the wasp toward the crack. "You don't want to stay in here," he murmured. "This house is no place to die. Go on. Get."

    It alighted on the sill, considered the house one more time, and flew free. Dill shut the window, almost having to hang from it to close it all the way.

    His mother walked in wearing her motel maid's uniform. She looked tired. She always did, which made her seem much older than her thirty-five years. "What were you doing with the window open and the AC on? Electricity's not free."

    Dill turned. "Wasp."

    "Why you all dressed to leave? You going somewhere?"

    "Nashville." Please don't ask the question I know you're going to ask.

    "Visiting your father?" She sounded both hopeful and accusatory.

    "No." Dill looked away.

    His mother stepped toward him and sought his eyes. "Why not?"

    Dill avoided her glare. "Because. That's not why we're going."

    "Who's we?"

    "Me. Lydia. Travis. Same as always."

    She put a hand on her hip. "Why you going, then?"

    "School clothes."

    "Your clothes are fine."

    "No they're not. They're getting too small." Dill lifted his skinny arms, his T-shirt exposing his lean stomach.

    "With what money?" His mother's brow—already more lined than most women's her age—furrowed.

    "Just my tips from helping people to their cars with their groceries."

    "Free trip to Nashville. You should visit your father."

    You better go visit your father or else, you mean. Dill set his jaw and looked at her. "I don't want to. I hate it there."

    She folded her arms. "It's not meant to be fun. That's why it's prison. Think he enjoys it?"

    Probably more than I enjoy it. Dill shrugged and gazed back out the window. "Doubt it."

    "I don't ask for much, Dillard. It would make me happy. And it would make him happy."

    Dill sighed and said nothing. You ask for plenty without ever actually asking for it.

    "You owe him. You're the only one with enough free time."

    She would hang it over his head. If he didn't visit, she would make it hurt worse for longer than if he gave in. The dread in Dill's stomach intensified. "Maybe. If we have time."

    As his mother was about to try to drag a firmer...

About the Author-

  • Before becoming a writer, JEFF ZENTNER was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son. Committed to making creativity a part of his everyday life, Zentner wrote both his debut novel, The Serpent King, and his follow-up book, Goodbye Days, on his iPhone while taking the bus to and from work. You can follow Zentner on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @jeffzentner.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 14, 2015
    Forrestville, Tenn., named after Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, isn’t exactly a welcome place for slightly ouside-the-mainstream folks like friends Dillard, Lydia, and Travis. Dill is a high school senior whose snake-handling preacher father is currently incarcerated; Lydia, a successful fashion blogger, plans on attending NYU after graduation; and Travis, large of body and gentle of soul, loses himself (and the pain of his father’s physical and emotional abuse) in a fantasy series called Bloodfall. While Dill finds comfort and beauty in music, Travis’s innate kindness belies his circumstances, and Lydia’s incandescent, gleefully offbeat personality draws them together. As the novel, Zentner’s debut, builds to a shocking act of violence that shatters the friends’ world, this sepia-toned portrait of small-town life serves as a moving testament to love, loyalty, faith, and reaching through the darkness to find light and hope. Zentner explores difficult themes head on—including the desire to escape the sins of the father and the fragility of happiness—while tempering them with the saving grace of enduring friendship. Ages 14–up. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management.

  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
    "Characters, incidents, dialogue, the poverty of the rural South, enduring friendship, a desperate clinging to strange faiths, fear of the unknown, and an awareness of the courage it takes to survive, let alone thrive, are among this fine novel's strengths. Zentner writes with understanding and grace--a new voice to savor."
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
    "[T]his sepia-toned portrait of small-town life serves as a moving testament to love, loyalty, faith, and reaching through the darkness to find light and hope."
  • School Library Journal
    "Thorough characterization and artful prose allow readers to intimately experience the highs and lows of these three friends .... Recommended for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell."
  • Starred Review, Shelf Awareness
    "Pens would run dry if readers were to underline extraordinary sentences--the kind that are so true, or funny, or beautiful that they clamp hearts .... [An] extraordinary YA debut."
  • New York Times Book Review
    "Zentner's great achievement -- particularly impressive for a first novel -- is to make us believe three such different people could be friends. He also manages to blend a dank, oppressive, Flannery O'Connor-esque sense of place with humor and optimism .... I adored all three of these characters and the way they talked to and loved one another."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
The Serpent King
The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
The Serpent King
The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close