Children's Book Reviews

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our Own Personal Hero(ine)s Journey

Sometimes in life it seems as if I am walking into the unknown, not literally, but into a different phase of my life. It is freaky as the wild creatures of doubt, fear, psychic blisters, and "when will we get there?" growl and roar from every corner of the day. That's one of the many reasons I loved reading Nancy Means Wright's latest book for teens, especially for teen girls in that wrothful time between childhood to adult. I also love Nancy's writing. I've never been to Vermont, but I can see, smell, and feel it in her writing. It must be a lovely place. I hope your literal and life journeys are going smoothly as our summer flows to a close.

The review:

Walking into the Wild is a coming of age tale, yet it is much more. Who would let a 13 year old gangly girl walk nearly 200 miles in a wilderness full of catamounts, dangerous enemies, bears, snakes, wild rivers, horrid weather, and unknown woods and mountains with only her 15 year old sister, younger brother, and a spindly cow named Glory for company? This is just what happens when Deborah Foot sets out from her aunt’s house in Connecticut to the Republic of Vermont in 1782 in search of their abandoned homestead and lost father who could be dead after being arrested by Redcoats. Rachel, Deborah’s older sister, is also obsessed in finding her fiancé Nathan Dodge who may or may not be all that he seems. To add to her woes Deborah is awkward and clumsy except when working the land, and worse she carries a dark secret in her heart. Her ally Remember Jones, a cobbler and surveyor, helps to lighten her load as well as give her a new pair of shoes for her blistered feet.

 Not enough good words of praise come to mind for Nancy Means Wright’s latest historical novel for young people. That it is a page-turner with an excellent plot and rounded characters is without question. The attention to details of life in the frontier of the newly formed United States and American Republic as well as the love of the hills and vales of Vermont, spring to existence on each page. This book is highly recommended on home, library, and classroom shelves for the availability of young readers who like heart in adventure.


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