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Reading for Ages 13 and Up List
Copyright © 2004 - 2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The
by Mark Twain
Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , tells the story of a teenaged misfit who finds himself floating on a raft down the Mississippi River with an escaping slave, Jim. In the course of their perilous journey, Huck and Jim meet adventure, danger, and a cast of characters who are sometimes menacing and often hilarious. Though some of the situations in Huckleberry Finn are funny in themselves (the cockeyed Shakespeare production in Chapter 21 leaps instantly to mind), this book's humor is found mostly in Huck's unique worldview and his way of expressing himself. Describing his brief sojourn with the Widow Douglas after she adopts him, Huck says: "After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people." Underlying Twain's good humor is a dark subcurrent of Antebellum cruelty and injustice that makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a frequently funny book with a serious message.
- Anne of Avonlea
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This book is set in the late 1800's in a rural area of Prince Edward Island, Canada, where the author herself grew up. It is about an orphan named Anne Shirley who is accidentally adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Matthew is a kind-hearted, quiet old man, while his sister, Marilla, is a strict, by-the-book old woman, and together they must raise a child with a dynamic imagination who is always getting into "scrapes."
- Captains Courageous
by Rudyard Kipling
Harvey Cheyne is the over-indulged son of a millionaire. When he falls overboard from an ocean liner her is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman and, initially against his will, joins the crew of the We're Here for a summer. Through the medium of an exciting adventure story, Captain's Courageous (1897) deals with a boy who, like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, is thrown into an entirely alien environment.
- Chosen, The
by Chaim Potok
Few stories offer more warmth, wisdom, or generosity than this tale of two boys, their fathers, their friendship, and the chaotic times in which they live. Though on the surface it explores religious faith--the intellectually committed as well as the passionately observant--the struggles addressed in The Chosen are familiar to families of all faiths and in all nations. In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood. The intellectual and spiritual clashes between fathers, between each son and his own father, and between the two young men, provide a unique backdrop for this exploration of fathers, sons, faith, loyalty, and, ultimately, the power of love. (This is not a conventional children's book, although it will move any wise child age 12 or older, and often appears on summer reading lists for high school students.)
- Dawn of Fear
by Susan Cooper, Margery Gill (Illustrator)
Derek and his friends, living outside of London during World War II, find plenty of opportunities to explore bomb craters, collect shrapnel, and identify the fighter planes that fly overhead. When a bomb hits close to school, causing classes to be cancelled, the boys are overjoyed: They can spend the day building their secret camp.
But when their work on the camp is sabotaged, a tough neighboring gang is to blame. A violent clash with the rival gang -- followed by a long night of bombing close at hand -- change forever Derek's feelings about the war.
- Firebird Trilogy
by Kathy Tyers
These critically acclaimed novels deftly chronicle one courageous woman’s spiritual and physical battles and the eternal consequences of her struggle--not only for herself and Brennan Caldwell, the man she loves, but also for the worlds she seeks to save. With her own people seeking her sacrifice, Lady Firebird finds herself swept toward an exciting but perilous destiny. Capturing the imaginations of readers of all genres, the complete story is now offered in this 3-in-1 volume. Fans of science fiction and fantasy from a Christian worldview and readers who simply love great storytelling will be thrilled by the thoughtful themes and intriguing plots of this compelling trilogy.
- Flint's Island
by Leonard Wibberley
"There is still treasure not yet lifted,"—the opening lines of Treasure Island—provided incentive for master storyteller Leonard Wibberley to concoct a sequel to the Stevenson classic. He succeeds remarkably, constructing a gripping tale of well-etched characters opposed in a life-and-death struggle. Long John Silver lives again, this time in conflict with New England mariners driven by storm onto the pirate Flint's immortal island.
- Giver, The
by Lois Lowry
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.
- Great Stories of the Sea and Ships
by N.C. Wyeth (Editor), Peter Hurd (Illustrator)
A selection of thirty-four works about the sea by such authors as Homer, Hans Christian Andersen, Herman Melville, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Defoe, and others.
- Hound of the Baskervilles, The
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author), Pam Smy (Illustrator)
Eerie illustrations enhance a blood-curdling edition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most-celebrated Sherlock Holmes mystery, bringing its delicious shivers to a new generation of readers.
Is it true that a hellish hound is haunting the lonely moors, hunting down the hapless Baskervilles through the generations? If anyone can put this chilling legend to rest, it's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It seems the body of the latest owner of the Baskerville estate has just been discovered in a ghastly condition, and Holmes has been called in on the case none too soon. The howls and moans that punctuate the elaborate twists of this Gothic tale will raise the hair on readers' necks and make converts of any who are not already fans of the famed detective. This classic mystery novel is presented in an unabridged edition, lavishly illustrated with the atmospheric and stylish artwork of Pam Smy.
- I Will Follow
by Clare Cook, Bethany Patchin
When sixteen-year-old Meg Atwell goes on a mission trip to Mexico, she doesn't know what to expect. The youngest of the six-person team from her church, she feels somewhat left out and inferior, but she doesn't let that get her down.
- In the Chat Room With God
by Todd Hafer, Jedd Hafer
Five teens, staying up late, searching for friendship and maybe a few answers in life, are suddenly joined by a mysterious visitor to their chat room. Who is this mysterious visitor? That's the question all five teens-and thousands of teen readers-must ultimately answer.
by Melanie M. Jeschke
It’s 1964 and young American Kate Hughes anticipates finding knowledge—and perhaps love—at Oxford University. She discovers possibilities in David MacKenzie, a young lecturer who carries on the legacy of his friend and mentor, C.S. Lewis. But conflict arises when she also catches the eye of the dashing Lord Stuart Devereux. Kate’s heart is torn between the two men, and her convictions are challenged as her vulnerability draws her to a rendezvous she may regret.
Sprinkled with allusions to classic English literature, references to C.S. Lewis, and an appearance from Professor J.R.R. Tolkien himself, this wonderful first novel unfolds with grace into an endearing story that will delight both devotees of The Inklings and readers of romance.
This new Harvest House edition of Inklings contains the original novel and an all–new sequel titled Intentions.
by Melanie M. Jeschke
- Jane Austen: The Complete Novels
by Jane Austen
Collected together in one volume, The Complete Novels show the development of Austen as a writer and social commentator. From the early optimism and youthful energy of Northanger Abbey to the quiet and subtle art of Persuasion, this collection reveals the breadth of one of the best loved novelists of all time.
- King of Shadows
by Susan Cooper
Nat Field's short life has been shadowed by loss and horror. His one escape is his talent for acting, and he has been picked by a dazzling international director to perform at Shakespeare's Globe, London's amazing new copy of the theater for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays four hundred years ago.
Brought from all over the U.S., the members of the American Company of Boys begin to rehearse at the Globe. But strange, eerie echoes of the past begin creeping in. Nat goes to bed mysteriously sick -- is it the dreadful bubonic plague of the sixteenth century? He wakes up healthy, but he's no longer in the present, he's in 1599, acting at the original Globe. And his costar is Shakespeare: no longer a vague historical figure, but a quirky, warm-hearted writer/actor whose friendship changes Nat forever.
Nat has a new life, blazing with excitement, edged with danger, but why is he here? Is he trapped in Elizabethan London? Will he ever go home?
Playing deftly with Time and Destiny as she did in her classic fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising, Susan Cooper tells a vivid, fascinating and ultimately very moving story of the painful business of growing up, against a background of the timeless, glowing magic of the theater.
- Light of Eidon, The (Book 1 of Legends of the Guardian-King)
by Karen Hancock
Abramm has dedicated the last eight years of his life to becoming worthy to touch and tend the Sacred Flames of Eidon, and he expects to be blessed for his devotion and sacrifice. But on the eve of taking the vows that will irrevocably separate him from the life he was born to—as Abramm Kalladorne, fifth son of the king of Kiriath, he is betrayed by his spiritual mentor and sold into slavery by his own family.
Swept along by the winds of a new destiny, Abramm is forced to compete as a gladiator. When the oppressed masses rally around his success, he discovers his suffering has molded him into something greater than he ever thought possible—to serve a purpose he never imagined.
Excerpt from EHO Review: "The book contains scenes of graphic violence, though mild by comparison to some I've read, and sexual references of the sort we avoid in our attempt to protect the innocence of our younger ones. The best I can say is that the sex is not graphically portrayed, and the hero later regrets his actions."
- Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night...
by Art Spiegelman (Author), Francoise Mouly (Author)
Maus creator Art Spiegelman and art editor of The New Yorker Françoise Mouly created a gorgeous splash with their deliciously oversized comic art collections Little Lit and Strange Stories for Strange Kids. In their latest compilation It Was a Dark and Silly Night... fans will find darkly delightful comics by Lemony Snicket and Richard Sala, William Joyce, Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson, J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh, Carlos Nine, Kaz, and more. The editors asked this talented crew of cartoonists, novelists, and children's book illustrators and authors to begin a story "It was a dark and silly night." Lemony Snicket took "silly" to stand for "Somewhat Intelligent, Largely Laconic Yeti." William Joyce tells the story of "Art Aimesworth, boy crimefighter and all around whiz-kid" who attempts to isolate Giggle-illium, the long-searched-for silly atom. Neil Gaiman begins his dark and silly night with "a light and grumpy afternoon." Kaz spins the tale of a bizarre upside-down family that only rights itself when a gas explosion blows the house up, in both senses. As with the other Little Lit collections, readers will be amazed, amused, baffled, turned upside-down and righted again, all in the course of a happy afternoon of browsing. (All ages over 9 or so) --Karin Snelson
- Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
This classic story of high adventure, manic obsession and metaphysical speculation was Melville's masterpiece. This editon includes passages from Melville's correspondence with Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which the two discuss the philosophical depths of the novel's plot and imagery.
- Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
by Cecil Scott Forester
The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a seventeen-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command oaf crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits. This novel--in which young Horatio gets his sea legs, proves his mettle, and shows the makings of the legend he will become--is the first of the eleven swashbuckling Hornblower tales that are today regarded as classic adventure stories of the sea.
- No Graven Image: A Novel
by Elisabeth Elliot
First published in 1966, No Graven Image is the only novel of the best-selling author Elisabeth Elliot.
Margaret, an intrepid twenty-five-year-old missionary, travels to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador to start her ministry. She sees little progress at first, but eventually gains a following and an enhanced reputation for her part in the safe and seemingly miraculous delivery of a breech baby. Things seem to be going well. She works on her translation of the Bible into the Indian language and befriends a native and his family. Then tragedy strikes, shaking Margaret's entire way of thinking.
Full of excitement, human emotion, and exotic South American culture and color, No Graven Image is sure to captivate new readers everywhere.
- Old Man and the Sea, The
by Ernest Hemingway
Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to the author. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway's career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that "no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards"). A half century later, it's still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway's favorite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author's later work: "The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords." Hemingway's style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:
Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.
If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph--just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator: "The old man was dreaming about the lions." Perhaps there's some allegory of art and experience floating around in there somewhere--but The Old Man and the Sea was, in any case, the last great catch of Hemingway's career. --James Marcus
- Out of the Silent Planet
by C.S. Lewis
The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by aliens and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. Once on the planet, he eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force from one of our best-love writers.
- Oxford Book of Sea Stories, The
by Tony Tanner (Editor)
Malevolent, mysterious, vast, the ocean has always sparked our fascination and sense of adventure, giving rise to a remarkable vein of narrative deftly mined here by editor Tony Tanner. In the twenty-seven tales of The Oxford Book of the Sea, masters of the art tell of men on ships, grappling with themselves, their fellow sailors, and the trials of the sea: from hurricane winds to the frustrating calm, from swirling currents to rampaging whales. Here is the work of Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, C.S. Forester, Ernest Hemingway, and of course Conrad. Along with the essential stories come unexpected gems by writers not known for their seafaring bent such as William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E.M. Forster, and Edgar Allan Poe. Some of the finest writers in the English language have been drawn to the subject of life at sea, with its dangers, loneliness, and triumphs. The Oxford Book of the Sea gathers together some of the best examples of the form, offering moving prose, fascinating insight into the human condition, and the simple pleasure of tales of high adventure.
by C.S. Lewis
The second book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Perelandra continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom. Pitted against that greatest of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new world -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by the Devil's agent. Will Perelandra succumb to the Devil's influence, or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man? The outcome of Dr. Ransom's mighty struggle will alone determine its fate.
- Peter and the Starcatchers Set
by Dave Barry (Author), Greg Call (Illustrator)
Follow the adventures of Peter, Molly, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys in all three Peter Pan prequels: Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. Don't even think of starting this trilogy unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. These fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventures are action-packed, touching, and tons of fun!
Peter and the Starcatchers: A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses thereader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries ofthe beloved Peter Pan.
Peter and the Shadow Thieves: In this riveting and adventure-packed follow-up to Peter and the Starcatchers, we discover Peter leaving the relative safety of Mollusk Island-along with his trusted companion Tinker Bell-for the cold, damp streets of London. On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the dark and deadly, slithering part-man/part-creature Lord Ombra. It seems that the dreaded Ombra has a variety of mysterious powers including the ability to make shadows disappear. When Peter reaches London, he sets out to find the indomitable Molly. Together they must combat Ombra's terrible forces to both protect the Starcatchers and the treasured starstuff and most importantly to rescue Molly's mother from the clutches of evil.
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon: In this action-packed finale to the Starcatchers series, Peter and Molly find themselves in the dangerous land of Rundoon, ruled by an evil king who enjoys watching his pet snake consume those who displease him. But that's just the beginning of problems facing our heroes, who once again find themselves pitted against the evil shadow-creature Lord Ombra in a struggle to save themselves, not to mention the planet. It's a wild desert adventure, with rockets, carpets, and camels all flying through the air, zooming toward an unforgettable climax...
- Playmaker, The
by J. B. Cheaney
The Playmaker, by first-time novelist J.B. Cheaney, is a lively historical fiction of Shakespearean proportions. The year is 1597. Young Richard Malory has come to the rough streets of London to seek his missing father, who abandoned the family long ago. But after meeting a series of dead ends, he resigns himself to the fact that his lost father may not wish to be found. In his despair, he is persuaded by the pretty maid Starling to audition for Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting troupe that numbers among its players Will Shakespeare himself. Richard immerses himself in the stage; never noticing that someone is following his every move along London's twisted streets--someone who knows Richard's mysterious father and of his allegiance to a secret society that has sworn to overthrow the Queen. It will take Richard's fumbling detective work and Starling's quick eye to uncover both a traitor to the throne and the identity of Richard's father.
While the conspiracy plotline will undoubtedly keep teens reading to find out who or what is behind the traitorous plan, it is Cheaney's engaging descriptions of the Elizabethan theatre that flesh out the story and (literally) steal scene after scene. Chaotic costume changes, instantaneous line memorization, and the problems young men have playing young women are all skillfully and humorously drawn. History teachers will enjoy assigning this novel (along with Susan Cooper's King of Shadows) as young Richard meets not only Shakespeare but also his rival, Ben Jonson, and even spies the "white-faced figure" of Queen Elizabeth from afar. The Playmaker is a promising first effort. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
- Squire's Tale, The
by Gerald Morris
Growing up an orphan in an isolated cottage in the woods, young Terence never expected much adventure. But upon the arrival of Gawain, his life takes a surprising turn. Gawain is destined to become one of the most famous knights of the Round Table. Terence becomes Gawain's squire and leaves his secluded life for one of adventure in King Arthur's court. In no time Terence is plunged into the exciting world of kings, wizards, knights, wars, magic spells, dwarfs, damsels in distress, and enchanters. As he adjusts to his new life, he proves to be not only an able squire but also a keen observer of the absurdities around him. His duties take him on a quest with Gawain and on a journey of his own, to solve the mystery of his parentage. Filled with rapier-sharp wit, jousting jocularity, and chuckleheaded knights, this is King Arthur's court as never before experienced.
- Stranger in the Chat Room
by Todd Hafer, Jedd Hafer, Tricia Brock
Following life-changing interactions with God in an Internet chat room, a group of teens disperse for the summer. As they reconnect, an intriguing character invades their supposedly private domain. Claiming to know about their encounters with the Almighty, he asks to talk about their experiences. The friends soon find him challenging their beliefs. As the teens defend themselves against this increasingly malevolent interloper, they must draw on the truth they have learned from God’s Word. A modern-day Screwtape Letters for young adults.
- That Hideous Strength
by C.S. Lewis
The final book in C.S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, That Hideous Strength concludes the adventures of the matchless Dr. Ransom. Finding himself in a world of superior alien beings and scientific experiments run amok, Dr. Ransom struggles with questions of ethics and morality, applying age-old wisdom to a brave new universe dominated by science. His quest for truth is a journey filled with intrigue and suspense.
- Three Musketeers, The
by Alexandre Dumas
With flashing blades, daring deeds, and the immortal cry "All for one and one for all!", the unforgettable d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Armis burst from the pages of The Three Musketeers. Their fearless camaraderie is a beacon of light in a shady world of political intrigue, dominated by the sinister Cardinal Richelieu and his beautiful agent, the deadly Lady de Winter. This vigorous retelling by Michael Leitch allows younger readers to experience for themselves the swashbuckling glamour, romance, and excitement of one of the greatest and most popular of all historical novels.
- True Prince, The
by J. B. Cheaney
At seventeen, Kit Glover finds his coming-of-age unusually fraught. Having built his career on playing women on the Elizabethan stage, he finds it harder than expected to "play the man," whether onstage or off. In some ways, his struggles reflect those of Prince Hal in the new play his company is performing that season--Kit even has his own Falstaff. The story is seen through the eyes of Richard Malory, Kit's closest rival, whose fate becomes entwined in a surprising way
by Joseph Conrad
Captain MacWhirr, of the steamer _Nan-Shan,_ had a physiognomy that, in the order of material appearances, was the exact counterpart of his mind: it presented no marked characteristics of firmness or stupidity; it had no pronounced characteristics whatever; it was simply ordinary, irresponsive, and unruffled. The only thing his aspect might have been said to suggest, at times, was bashfulness; because he would sit, in business offices ashore, sunburned and smiling faintly, with downcast eyes. Having just enough imagination to carry him through each successive day, and no more, he was tranquilly sure of himself; and from the very same cause he was not in the least conceited. It is your imaginative superior who is touchy, overbearing, and difficult to please; but every ship Captain MacWhirr commanded was the floating abode of harmony and peace. It was, in truth, as impossible for him to take a flight of fancy as it would be for a watchmaker to put together a chronometer with nothing except a two-pound hammer and a whip-saw in the way of tools. Yet the uninteresting lives of men so entirely given to the actuality of the bare existence have their mysterious side. It was impossible in Captain MacWhirr's case, for instance, to understand what under heaven could have induced that perfectly satisfactory son of a petty grocer in Belfast to run away to sea. . . .
- Voyage of the Arctic Tern, The
by Hugh Montgomery, Nick Poullis
Treason, treachery, and treasure - here is a classic seafaring tale that sweeps across the centuries and sails to different lands, from Spain to the southwest of England. At its heart is Bruno, the skipper of The Arctic Tern, who has been cursed to a life of eternal wandering after succumbing to a moment of greed and betrayal some thousand years ago. Bruno’s quest for release brings him to the court of the King of Spain and into battle with an ancient adversary, the villainous pirate Mad Dog Morgan. Can Bruno and his crew set right the wrongs of the past and present? Will good triumph over evil? Can the captain of The Arctic Tern ever find the redemption that he seeks?
Narrated in stirring verse that demands to be read aloud, this epic adventure, full of atmospheric line illustrations, will appeal to all children and adults who love a thrilling story, memorably told.
- Waterstone, The
by Rebecca Rupp
The small world of the Fisher folk is drying up. The water in their green pond is lower every day, and the stream that feeds it has shrunk to a trickle. Young Tad (short for Tadpole) and his little sister, Birdie, set out with their father, Pondleweed, on a journey upstream to find the cause of this disastrous Drying Time, at the beginning of a quest that will lead them into strange adventures and terrible danger. When Pondleweed is enticed by mysterious music into drowning himself in a sinister black pool, the children take refuge with a wizened dryad, who helps Tad to realize that he has been given a magical gift that will help him save the Fishers and the other two tribes who make up the world, but not without sacrifice and terror.
This delightful miniature heroic fantasy is beautifully realized, from the details of the Fisher's tiny domestic arrangements to the eerie echoes of classical mythology. Rebecca Rupp has created a satisfyingly complete world, with its water-oriented Fishers, gypsy Hunters, and furry Diggers, overseen by the tree spirit Dryads, the earth spirit Kobolds, and the water spirit Nixies, all subject to the majestic Great Rune and the death-owl Obd. Despite his heroic role, Tad is a real boy, and that and the antics of his comical watchfrog, Pippit, keep this charming tale from becoming too solemn. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell