Damone Bester

Award winning author, Speaker, aspiring screenwriter and voiceover artist


Outstanding Fiction Work


Fiction, YA-Literary & Coming of Age




YA Fiction

Mendel is now a BookFest Award Winner

Imagine the mid 1980’s, last day of school, summer break. A teen rushes to meet his mother, who is being released from the hospital after cancer surgery. When the teen arrives, he finds out his mother is dead, but his ex-gangbanging dad, who has been in jail the last seven years, is at the hospital ready to take the teen home.

Mendel, is a coming-of-age story about a senior at Chicago’s legendary Mendel High who must learn how to forgive as he navigates life without his mother. Things come to a head when the teen accidentally finds his mom’s diary. In the journal, he discovers his mother’s dreams of becoming a collegiate track star were derailed due to getting pregnant with him. To honor his mother, he joins Mendel’s track team and excels, but before he can cash in on any scholarship offers, his father’s thuggish past catches up with them when a gun toting nemesis comes seeking revenge. The teen must decide between saving his own life or sacrificing it all to save his estranged father.

5 stars for Mendel by Damone Bester

A young man finds purpose and identity by joining the track team, but will he lose it all to save his father’s life? Our hero is a senior in high school but after losing his mother to cancer and being forced to live with his estranged father, he feels lost and alone. Read full review…

5 Star Audiobook review

The author is the narrator and I must admit, I wasn’t sure if this was the right fit at first. But the author is a gifted voice actor, and he brought the right balance of emotion, tension, and drama. His voice is in the lower range which adds to the overall enjoyment of the story. Read full review…

5 star review from Book Excellence

Mendel by Damone Bester is a genre-bending work of fiction, that draws readers in with emotional dynamism, honesty, and strength.

The book opens with the story of a well-mannered young man raised in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. The sudden passing of his mother and the return of his ex-con father causes him to understandably lose hope and spirit. He develops a tough sense of armor for his little sister and aunt, but lacks purpose as a senior in high school; that is, until he stumbles upon his mother’s diaries about running track. Grieving his mother’s loss becomes the loving push he needs to rededicate himself to the Mendel track team.
Bounced between his small private school kingdom and neighborhoods patrolled by gangbangers, BJ fulfills his track coach’s teachings about effort and attitude through cheerfully energetic narration, even while processing fresh grief. Perceptive tangents and vignettes catch the nuances of his world with easy flair while a touching sense of gratitude for community pervades from start to finish.
Overall, Bester’s Medel is a powerful story that inspires one to do more, better themselves, and even in the face of our greatest challenges, work to strive for more. – Review by Book Excellence

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