Sunday, May 02, 2010

Book Review: The True Leader by Jamie Marsico

A+ I enjoy reading books, both fiction and non-fiction. When I read a book related to banking and I perceive it as a “B” grade or better, I’ll tell you about it here in my blog. This is an exception. The True Leader has no relation to banking. To those blog readers expecting my humble opinions on banking, I apologize. But to those blog readers who are parents and/or grand-parents of children 8-12 years old, bear with me, if you will do me the honor.

Less than a year ago, my 11 year old daughter, Jamie, wrote a book, The True Leader. I encouraged her, thinking the journey on its own would be worth the effort. A few months ago, she completed it and said she was ready to seek publication. Publication! I could not discourage her. We went through the cycle, seeking publishers, proof-reading, then finally editing. It was a lot of work, but when Jamie said “nothing is going to stop me from getting my book published”, I was immediately onboard with her.

And Thursday, April 29th was the day… the day her book went for sale on and other retail outlets. I cannot describe in words the pride I feel the day I saw the first proof from the publisher, the day I saw it online, and as I write this. Imagine, an 11 year old writing and publishing a book. Could your 8-12 year old be inspired by such a story? It reminds me of the story of S.E. Hinton, the teenage author who penned “The Outsiders”, the story of the “socs” and the “greasers”… friction among teenagers from different backgrounds.

The True Leader, however, is a fictional tale that centers on an Alaskan wolfpack fighting to preserve their land from wolverines. Toko, the protagonist of the tale, is followed from birth through many battles with their competitors, until maturity when he grows to be pack leader. It speaks of loyalty, survival, and leadership. I found the story fascinating, even though I’m outside of its demographic. Of course, I have a bias, but would your child or grand-child enjoy such a tale that was written by a peer?

Here is what I like about the book:

1.  It has a lot of action. There are many battles between wolf and wolverine, all described in details as seen by the book’s 11 year old author;

2.  It is a metaphor on life, the maturing of a wolf-pup to a true leader;

3.  It is written by an 11 year old. How else could you best encourage an 8-12 year old than, “look, this book was written by a 5th grader”.

 What I didn’t like about this book:

1.  Nothing. I am admittedly biased. The author is very special to me.

If such a book would interest you, I have placed it on my bookshelf on the right margin of this blog. You can also visit and join our Facebook Fan Page (see link below), tell your friends, and/or go directly to Amazon (also, see link below). Me and my family appreciate your consideration and your valuable time.

- Jeff


  1. Please give your daughter my congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment at any age! My almost 3-year-old daughter is working on her M's. I hope to get to complex sentences by Xmas.

    I can't help but think that this sentence in the Amazon description is somewhat autobiographical? "Toko was driven to become a fierce and strong leader, like his father Razor, the Barcun Pack's alpha wolf."

    See you in Dallas, Razor! - mz

  2. Mark,

    I never thought of it as relating to my family, but now I'm starting to wonder. Who knows how an 11 year old derives inspiration. Thanks for your kind words. I'm looking forward to Dallas.


  3. Jeff, It has been many, many years since I last saw you at PNC bank, both of in the old IT room, you doing tapes, etc., and I doing keypunching. Had moved into Joe Severini's place. My wife (Kristi) and I and the kids (7 of them) are now in Cambodia, as get this, missionaries. I still keep up on the bank industry, and for some reason still remember that little screw up (I am laughing) with investing that one large item in the trust department. Ah, yes fond memories. Just wanted to drop you a line. Rob Cady

  4. Rob, It is great to hear from you! Jackie and I knew missionary was in your future. Seven kids! Tell Kristi we said hello. I remember fondly the days in the "computer room" at old Northeastern Bank.

  5. Yeh, Kristi was trying to remember that one time we had a meal with you and Jackie in your old apartment, and I believe you had already transitioned to the Navy. Anyway here is my hotmail address: Do you have facebook? I meant to tell you our oldest, Luke, is 23 and in the US Marines near Washington DC. My third child, Miriam, is studying at Messiah college in law enforcement with the view of returning to Cambodia to help fight child sex trafficking.