Fiction, History, Young Adult Fiction

The Askren Boys is a novel inspired by and loosely based on my grandfather and his two brothers. It is told from the perspective of Raymond, my grandfather, who was 12 years old when his two brothers went off to World War II. Throughout the story he talks about the heroism of his brothers, which is on full display as they travel throughout Europe fighting Nazis.

It is a story of brotherhood, of heroes, and of growing up. Capturing the life and times of World War II and what it was like to watch your heroes go off to battle. How does a young boy cope with the absence of two men he grew up with, never knowing if they will make it back?

A.J. Reilly was born near Detroit, Michigan, to a stay-at-home mom and a Baptist minister. Growing up he was heavily involved in athletics, earning a scholarship to play football in college. After college A.J. began to write, starting in 2014, after the death of his grandfather. A.J. teaches U.S. history in Plano, Texas, and signed his first publishing contract with Waldorf Publishing in 2015. He runs his own blog at and most nights after school he is busy enjoying a fine cigar, and either cheering on his beloved Detroit Tigers or reading a great book.