Luthor McAlester is a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father died when he was a child. Leaving him to become man of the house, living with his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now. He is unsure what to do with it in the absence of this father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. Can Luther figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask with just the help of his best friend? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than young Luthor can handle?
About the Author:
Now a little bit about her. RoseAnn Labriola, penning as C.J. Rose.
I was born and raised here in Illinois, not far from Chicago. I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I have always loved writing, whether it was poems, song lyrics or stories. I decided it was time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper of a story concept I have played with for long time. In the process, it developed into the full length version that I am proud to call my first published book, Bridge of the Gods – A Generation Son Chronicle. Now I have 3 novels in the series as well as a companion cookbook.
One of the best things about this book is that it is written like it is being told, although the author kind of wrote something that he/she (I don’t know, which really frustrates me.) had already written a paragraph before, in the middle of the sentence. But that’s is okay!
The story was good, and Apollo is not the brightest of the gods, for a sun god. I like that.
Buy the book:
This book is available in Kindle and paperback edition from Amazon here. [Affiliate link]
We recently sat down with CJ and talked a bit about this book, the series, and writing, and will be publishing our review in an upcoming edition of Between the Pages. You can sign up for our newsletter below, so you don’t miss a beat!
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About to turn sixteen, Jade was looking forward to getting her first car and a little more freedom. Life, however, had a different path in mind. A thirst for blood and newfound fangs exposed a secret world to her… a world hidden from humanity. To leave behind everything she knew and enter The Shadow Realm, she must embark on a fateful journey to uncover the truth about the past, and understand her strange dreams. Daring efforts to unravel her destiny will reveal new powers, new friends, and very real enemies.
About the Author:
J.L.Keathley is a self-published author who focuses on YA Fantasy. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters. She loves animals and has a variety of pets. She has always loved to read and decided to write what she wants to read about. She likes to travel with her family and find adventures.Contact JL:FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsBlogAuthor Spotlight (Authors get featured on her blog weekly)
Debut novels are always fun to read – it’s a gamble on the part of a book reviewer. Some are downright terrible (I don’t finish these, let alone review them). Others are amazing – well written, beautifully edited, brilliantly plotted and put-together.
J.L. Keathley’s debut novel, Distant Memories, falls somewhere in between the extremes. This book challenged my inner editor – and while the first half of the book was a challenge, the author has a method to her seeming madness.
Distant Memories is told from the point of view of a 16 year old girl. In style, if not in form, this book reads much like my high school journals. Conventional style and comma usage is out the window.
It took me half of the book to realize that this was intentional, and not faulty editing (my interview with J.L. confirmed my suspicions). Once I got my noisy inner editor to go sit in a corner and hush (because the author had a reason for how she wrote this book), this is an awesome plot line. And the best news? There’s more coming.
The final tally:
This isn’t an easy book to read from a style perspective. If you are someone who must have their novel in the standard, conventional style (each speaker in a conversation gets a new paragraph, commas in the right places) – this isn’t the book for you. If, however, you can approach a novel with an open mind, and enjoy a well-told story, this is an awesome debut for Ms. Keathley.
Update: This blog post went live before I got word that JL will be doing some editing and re-releasing this book. If you would prefer to get the updated version, hop into her Facebook group, linked above, and follow her to find out when it’s been released.
Okay, so Distant Memories is a captivating story about a vampire-witch hybrid who’s trying to find her mom, basically. That’s it. That’s all the information you’re getting.
One of the things that I liked about this book was that it was captivating. I was drawn into the story from the first page. A couple of the thing that I didn’t like was how we didn’t see much of Legs, the main character’s tarantula, and the unfair cliffhanger at the end. Seriously, you think that there’s more to the book! Grr!
But I love it! Don’t get me wrong, I really, really love the book. It called out to me, in a way. Y’know, that moment when you pick up a book that you’ve never read before and it just calls you to you before you even look at it. Yeah. that kind of calling;
Buy the book:
This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]
Cherry blossom lipstick: check Smokey eyes: check Skinny jeans: check Dead kid in the mirror: check
For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too.
Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally.
Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance.
Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim…
Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?
About the author:
Apryl Baker uses Authorgraph to connect personally with readers. Visit Authorgraph.com, click “Request Authorgraph” and include a message to Apryl to receive a personalized inscription that you can view in your favorite reading apps and devices!
Hello again! How was your weekend? Today we’ll be talking about the Ghost Files by Apryl Baker. This is the first book in a series, and is becoming a major motion picture.
Matilda, or more commonly known as Mattie, has the ability to see ghosts, though everyone she tells that to thinks she’s crazy. Which is why she doesn’t tell anyone. But she may have to expose her secret in order to help rookie police officer Dan solve the missing persons cases of at least ten children, whose ghosts are the only clues she has, and bring a serial killer to justice. Can she avenge the deaths of the children, or will she join them and be the next victim? A true ghost story/murder mystery, Ghost Files was captivating for me, and left me ready for more. Plus, it has a great plot twist in the end, and Mattie tries not to curse. Now that is my kind of girl! I recommend this book to teenage and up ghost lovers, and teens and up only because it has some tense and violent scenes in it. Read the book for a good time, and a heroine unlike any I’ve seen. I don’t know about you guys watching at home, you might have read a book or watched a movie where the protagonist was like Mattie. Subscribe, leave a like, and enable notifications, and I’ll be back next week. Bye!
Buy the book:
This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook here. [affiliate link]
With one kiss, Tatiana has discovered a love for a man she’d hated—the prince of Natatoria. Through the botched rescue attempt by her father against this union, an army of rebels has revealed their identity and intentions—treason. When the King is fatally injured, Azor takes things into his own hands and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants: to be king. Including killing Tatiana’s father.
Jacob had always been loyal to the crown, that was until his brother‘s banishment to die on Bone Island without an explanation. Invited to help on a mission with Jack, leader of the underground army, Jacob learns the truth about the kingdom and of Jack’s daughter, a girl with beautiful blue eyes and a heart of gold. Falling for her—a promised princess—wasn’t supposed to happen.
Caught between the bond and her family, Tatiana, the future Queen, must overcome the promise to fight for what’s right and uncover the truths of the past or all will become Everlost.
About the Author:
Author Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband and two energetic boys. After her release of EVERMORE late 2015, she suffered from a stroke. While she’s had a miraculous recovery, the part of her brain she’d used to write fiction with hasn’t returned yet.
At 18-months post-stroke, she’s decided to start working on her memoir to tell her story. It’s very tiring for her and slow going, but she’s determined to finish this project.
She’d love to hear your encouragement and well wishes. Feel free to email email@example.com or write on her facebook wall.
** Join my email list to find out about freebies, new releases, contests, and much more at brendapandos.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org **
Hello to all of my viewers, and welcome back to Sam’s Teen Reads Corner, and we shall be continuing the Mer Tales series by Brenda Pandos with Everlost. Instead of having Ash as the star, Tatchi’s story is told.
Tatchi has been forced promised to the jerk prince Azor. Even though her promising tattoo and royal birthmark that was supposed to come with the promise haven’t made an appearance, she’s fallen head over tail for the prince. However, the rebel that tried to take her and got a chunk taken out of his arm is now her bodyguard.
The longer she stays at the palace, the more secrets she finds, and none of them are good, and almost all of them are against her. Azor’s father, the king is dying and tries to force promise Tatchi (again!) to himself to free her, her promise is a fake, and Azor wants her to pull off a con.
While I do enjoy the series, this wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the other two, which, and this is just my opinion, is kind of a bummer. So, yeah, for ratings, it gets four of five stars. Shocker! Alright, readers. Please remember to subscribe, like, enable notifications, and if you have one, suggest a book that you’d think that I would enjoy, and I will attempt to do a review. Stay bold, my readers!
Buy this book:
This book is available on Amazon as a Kindle, paperback or audio book here. [affiliate link]
Check out Sam’s reviews for the other books in this series:
Darkness once twisted Adelaide Dinsmore’s mind, but she thought she had grown out of that. Her job as a teacher in Hedlund proved that – until she discovers one of her students dead and the town turns against her. As her mind starts to crumble, she is offered a new job, this time as a governess for Gentleman Bennett’s granddaughter back east.
Bennett Hall is a sprawling manor of winding tunnels and manicured lawns, and the fence is really just for show. The little girl, Theodora, is a delight, albeit quiet, and the Bennetts are kind enough, especially the dashing young Joseph. So what if one of the servants sends chills down her spine every time he looks at her? Surely that, and the noises in the night, are figments of her imagination. She won’t allow the past in Hedlund to tarnish her future at Bennett Hall.
Then, Theodora begins to speak of a Villain who haunts secret passages in the manor, and Adelaide stumbles upon a sealed off wing where ghosts whisper from the shadows. Twisted inventions fill the basement and the villagers are wary of the Bennett family.
The longer she stays at Bennett Hall, the less likely her chance for escape, but she cannot leave Theodora or Joseph. The darkness in her mind might be the only thing to save them.
About the Author:
Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor; historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green; office specialist; sales clerk; election inspector; and trainer, she is now diving into the world of author.It happens to be her favorite one.
When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains JordanElizabethMierek.com.
She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn, the setting of her novel ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.
I just finished reading this book… And frankly, I’m a bit breathless.
I’m arguing with myself about how best to write a review for this new release, because each option I present, carries with it the chance for a spoiler, so I will keep this brief.
Bennett Hall is the second book in the Return to Amston series, though the only connection between the two seems to be a vaguely mentioned side character (from another series, I’m gathering), and a common “big city” and wider world. The plots appear to be, in no other way that I can find, otherwise unrelated.
I enjoyed Bennett Hall far more than Runners and Riders. The mystery was deep and complex, and the solution was… erm… unexpected. The budding romance between Adelaide and Joseph adds a romantic element, and sweet little Theodora is every nanny’s dream.
Jordan’s character and plot development has grown by leaps and bounds between this book and Runners, and Sam (hostess of Sam’s Teen Reads Corner) will be reading this sometime in the near future.
If you haven’t read Runners yet, while I recommend the book on its own merit of an engaging story line and relate-able characters, reading these books in their published order isn’t strictly necessary.
In summary, I absolutely loved Bennett Hall, and look forward to further mystery-adventure-romances from Jordan Elizabeth.
Buy the book:
This book is now available from Amazon here. [affiliate link]
Psychic Mira Tejedor possesses unique talents that enable her to find anything and anyone, but now she must find a comatose boy wandering lost inside the labyrinth of his own mind. Thirteen-year-old Anthony Faircloth hasn’t spoken a word in almost a month and with each passing day, his near catatonic state worsens. No doctor, test, or scan can tell Anthony’s distraught mother what has happened to her already troubled son. In desperation, she turns to Mira for answers, hoping her unique abilities might succeed where science has failed.
At their first encounter, Mira is pulled into Anthony’s mind and finds the child’s psyche shattered into the various movements of Modest Mussorgsky’s classical music suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. As she navigates this magical dreamscape drawn from Anthony’s twin loves of Russian composers and classical mythology, Mira must contend with gnomes, troubadours, and witches in her search for the truth behind Anthony’s mysterious malady.
The real world, however, holds its own dangers. The onset of Anthony’s condition coincides with the disappearance of his older brother’s girlfriend, a missing persons case that threatens to tear the city apart. Mira discovers that in order to save Anthony, she will have to catch a murderer who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets contained in Anthony’s unique mind from ever seeing the light.
About the Author:
Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq.
His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves–classical music and world mythology– and is slated for publication by Curiosity Quills Press on 12 Jan 2015. He is currently hard at work on his next novel.
His short stories can be found in various publications, many of which are available through Amazon, and most of which have been collected in his two short story compilations – Necromancer for Hire: The April Sullivan Chronicles & The Sicilian Defense and Other Dark Tales – also available on Amazon.
Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.
Admittedly, this book took longer to read than I anticipated – but not because it lacked the usual attention-pulling elements.
I generally try to stay away from murder mysteries. They tend to leave me feeling disturbed at best, anxious and overwhelmed at worst. I dove into this series, however, because of two elements: The paranomal/psychic and the classical composer element.
This mystery is less about the murder of a teenage girl, and is far more about the psychic’s journey through herself as she tries to help a young boy unlock his mental prison that he’s exiled himself to as a measure of coping with emotional trauma.
Larger than the mystery of the missing girl, is the mystery of why young Anthony mentally locked himself up and how Mira can so easily walk in his mental-scape.
This book sucks the reader in, both with the unusual use of clairalliance by Mira (clairalliance being a gathering of psychic knowing through scent) and the trip through Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
This story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger by any means, (other than some romantic prospects that are secondary to the main plot), but I just finished the book and had to race out to my laptop to write the review, so I could start on book 2 of the series, The Stravinsky Intrigue.
For an added twist, listen to the classical piece that serves as Mira’s guide through Anthony’s mind. It serves as an excellent backdrop to the vivid imagery that Kennedy supplies in his writing.
Definitely a meandering, suspenseful read worth its weight in time.
The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy was very interesting and captivating. Mira, the heroin, was very brave, and she’s a physic who’s desperate to help a young boy by the name of Anthony, who is nearly comatose. When she enters his mind, she learns that he knows who killed his brother’s ex.
Very powerful and very good, The Mussorgsky Riddle will draw you in, if you don’t mind being in a messed up dreamscape, that is. If you don’t mind that, but rather enjoy it, it’ll please you to the very end.
Some of the things that I didn’t like was how it was confusing at times. Moments like those were very little, but still. Baba Yaga was a very interesting character, and an unexpected plot twist happened near the end. I guess that that’s the whole point of a plot twist.
Buy the book:
This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]
Nine months have passed since psychic Mira Tejedor last walked the halls of Anthony Faircloth’s adolescent mind. All but family now, Mira is relocating to Charlotte, NC, not only for a much-needed change of scenery, but to further her burgeoning relationship with Dr. Thomas Archer. On the eve of her move, however, a new threat emerges.
Young girls from every corner of Charlotte are falling catatonic, a condition eerily similar to the illness from which Mira rescued Anthony the previous fall. Mira reluctantly agrees to help Detective Calvin Sterling with the case and soon finds herself pulled into a new pair of fantasy worlds, both borne from the brilliant mind of Igor Stravinsky.
In the world of The Firebird, Mira becomes the warrior Ivanovna and battles an immortal evil threatening to steal the girls’ souls for all eternity. In the Russian fair from Petrushka, she assumes the role of Ballerina, one of three magical puppets who dance at the whim of a cruel Charlatan. Torn between Moor and Clown, bizarre doppelgangers of the two vastly different men in her life, and threatened at every turn by a sorcerer who craves her very essence, Mira must navigate the cruel deceptions of both worlds and win, or her life and the lives of a dozen innocents will be forfeit.
About the author:
Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq. His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently hard at work on his next novel. Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.
The Stravinsky Intrigue by Darin Kennedy is the sequel to The Mussorgsky Riddle, and it doesn’t disappoint this reader of the series. Mira is back on the case once more as she tries to find the one who the six comatose girls in the hospital. Taking more trips into the Exhibition, she discovering that instead of having all of her old friends, she’s caught in The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and Petrushka.
Once more, this book was incredible and fun to read, and there weren’t as many confusing moments in it, which is great. And just so you know, Mira won’t be the the main character in the next book. Sorry.
**Jenn’s note: This isn’t classified as middle grade or young adult. Since there isn’t much bad language or graphic violence in book 1, I let Sam tackle this series when she asked, because she is pretty good at knowing her own limits when it comes to lit.
Buy the book:
This book is available from Amazon in paperback, audiobook and Kindle formats here. [Affiliate link]
About the book:Psychic Mira Tejedor lies comatose in the wake of her second battle with the devious Madame Versailles, but her sacrifice was not in vain. Though at great cost, her nemesis is no more, her love has returned to the land of the living, and twelve innocent girls are back with their families. Still, young Anthony Faircloth can’t escape the notion there must have been another way.
Obsessed with freeing Mira as Mira once freed him, Anthony works to rekindle their special link and soon meets with more success than he knows what to do with. Two distinct worlds, both forged in the imagination of Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, threaten to consume his life. By the still waters of Swan Lake, Anthony assumes the guise of a man named Benno and must help Prince Siegfried defend the Swan Princess, Odette, from the machinations of a dark sorcerer. In the Stahlbaum house, he takes on the role of a boy named Fritz who, under the command of the Nutcracker Prince, must save his sister Clara from the onslaught of the Mouse King and his army of rodent soldiers. At the intersection of the two disparate settings lies yet another mystery: both Odette and Clara wear Mira’s face. And these intertwining perils are but shadows of the real danger.
Back in the real world, a menacing figure from Mira’s past has escaped from prison and now stalks her on both sides of the veil of dream. Anthony must bring Mira out of her catatonic state so that she can fight one last time, or her life and the lives of all she loves will be lost.
About the author:
Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq. His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently hard at work on his next novel. Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.Sam’s Review:
The Tchaikovsky Finale, by Darin Kennedy, is the last book in the series. Told in Anthony’s point of view, we learn that he remembers more about the Exhibition and the other mindscapes than he lets on. In order to repay Mira, he’ll be the one trying to find her in her comatose state.
This time dealing with The Nutcracker, The Swan Princess and Sleeping Beauty, he finds that Mira has no recollection nor knowledge of her life outside of her comatose state. Madame Versailles isn’t as defeated as believed, Mira’s ex and his fiancè show up to take care of Isabelle, Mira’s daughter, and the man that Mira busted big time is out for his revenge. All in all, helping Mira is harder than Anthony expected.
Heart pounding, with a couple of humorous breaks here and there to break the tension, this book is captivating, but an easy read at the same time. It is very interesting to hear things from Anthony’s point of view for once, and it gives me a greater vision as to what it’s like to share a dreamscape with another person, which is basically what’s going on between Anthony and Mira.
**Jenn’s note: This isn’t classified as middle grade or young adult. Since there isn’t much bad language or graphic violence in book 1, I let Sam tackle this series when she asked, because she is pretty good at knowing her own limits when it comes to lit. Buy the book:This book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions here. [affiliate link]Other books in this series:The Mussorgsky Riddle (book 1)The Stravinsky Intrigue (book 2)
A clandestine race of half-dragon, half-humans known as dragon shifters lives among us. Bastian, leader of the Nightfury dragon clan, is sworn to protect humankind at all costs. For him, honor and duty always come first. When the clan dictates he take a human mate to sire a son, he falters, aware that for a human to birth a dragon shifter she must die. Myst, the woman given into his care, is the most extraordinary he’s ever met, and though he can’t bear the thought of harming her he is bound by duty.
Myst loves her life in the human world, but Bastian has captured her heart in an instant of electric connection. But Bastian and his warriors are in the middle of a deadly battle with the Razorback dragon shifters, intent on killing every Nightfury clan member—and the humans they protect—the fate of their world and ours hangs in the balance.
An extraordinary blend of action, fantasy, and steamy romance, Fury of Fire brings to life a dangerous new world intertwined with the survival of humanity, all while exploring the meaning of honor and the nature of true love.
About the Author:
As the only girl on all-guys hockey teams from age six through her college years, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write about them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics. But whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked good fun.
After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, Callahan finally succumbed to her overactive imagination and returned to her first love: writing. And when she’s not writing, she is dreaming of magical worlds full of dragon-shifters, elite assassins, and romance that’s too hot to handle. Callahan currently lives in Canada with her family and her writing buddy, a fun-loving golden retriever.
Dragons, damsels and divisive clan wars, oh my! Coreene Callahan kicked this series off with a bang in Fury of Fire, Book 1 in the Dragonfury series.
This is one of those binge-buying Kindle books I picked up (embarrassingly, almost 3 years ago!), and dove into for a bit of a break from ARCs. I was most assuredly NOT disappointed.
In this shape-shifter-slash-urban-fantasy-romance, Bastian knows he needs to find a human female to impregnate. He’s not keen on the idea; it rubs his moral compass the wrong way, as the birth will inevitably result in his partner’s death.
Myst stumbles into the middle of a wild, action packed battle between Bastian’s clan and their bitter rivals, and in the end, she’s literally swept off to Bastian’s stronghold in the mountains above Seattle because she refuses to relinquish the baby she delivered just before the battle.
The plot is engaging, the characters well developed and the world-building is mostly believable. This book should be on your to-be-read list if you are a fan of shape-shifter romance.
Buy the book:
This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]
Ghost Hawk is a great story of dedication devotion, love and hate. You’ll be on the edge of your seat not wanting to put this book down. A historical fiction told unlike any before. A great story for anyone from young teen to adults.
Sam’s Book Review:
Little Hawk is the son of Flying Hawk. He is eleven now, and he must prepare for his three month long ordeal to become a man. But when he returns, he finds a nasty surprise in store for him, and the white man’s plans to settle on his people’s land.
When the time comes for him to take the test that will decide if he becomes a man and finds his manitou, or guardian spirit, or dies in the wilderness, he knows that he will survive. So he leaves with his father blindfolded. When they reach the spot, Flying Hawk removes Little Hawk’s blindfold and leaves him there to start the journey. The first thing Little Hawk needs to do is build a fire. Then he will be ready for his manitou to find him.
When his three months are over he returns home, only to find that most of the village died from a horrible plague, including one of his two sisters, his baby brother, his mother, and his father. When he goes to his tent, the only one left in the village is Grandmother Suncatcher. When she tells him about the plague, he feels like his world has been shattered. They take care of each other until Little Hawk’s friend Leaping Turtle comes, wondering what happened. Now there are three of them.
Soon afterwards, they receive a signal from another village, and they send one in return. Suncatcher tries to tell Little Hawk and Leaping Turtle to go to that other village, but they tell her that if she’s not going, they’re not going. Finally, they decide to build a litter to hold her. When three people from the other village, come to check on Little Hawk’s village, they take what survivors remain to a new village. After the visit, they arrive at the other village, and Little Hawk’s little sister, Quickbird, comes running up to him when she sees that Little Hawk has survived the plague. At least one of his siblings survived the epidemic.
They live in the village for a little while, then, the white men come. Little Hawk meets John, a little boy. When Little Hawk and Leaping Turtle go to deliver a message, Little Hawk is shot trying to save John’s father, and then tossed into the bushes. John picks up Little Hawk’s tomahawk for safe keeping, and then goes home, where his father dies with a broken leg. When one of Little Hawk’s killers, Daniel Smith, marries John’s mother, Margaret, John uses every opportunity he gets to try to make Daniel realize that he shot a man who was trying to help. This gets him apprenticed to a master cooper, where he meets Huldah, a young girl going, as her family promised to him, to work for the other murderer, Master Kelly.
When going to collect shoots so that he can make a barrel, he sees the ghost of little Hawk. Realizing that he can see Little Hawk, John decides to learn Little Hawk’s language. They have many meetings, where John and Little Hawk become fast friends. When John becomes an adult, he plans to marry Huldah, but Master Kelly forbids him to ever do so in Plymouth because of John’s love for the Native Americans, or, as the settlers call them, the heathens, causing John to become angry and spill the story of Little Hawk’s death, in public.
That’s not all that goes on in Ghost Hawk. There are many twists and turns throughout the story. This book was written by Susan Cooper, the author of The Dark is Rising. It was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2013. The book I read was first edition. This book isn’t illustrated. I’d give it five stars for a plot that twists and turns, and for a gripping story and recommend this to young adults and middle schoolers.
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
From Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper, a story of adventure and friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler.
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.
John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.
The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel.
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