Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Dan Smith

Available: paperback, kindle

   Twelve-year-old Oskari is about to become a man. It's the eve of his ritual Trial. The night he must prove his worth and place in the tribe. The problem is that he's not sure if he's up to the challenge. Neither is anyone else. Not even his father who Oskari desperately wants to please. If only he was bigger and stronger like the other boys his age. He's not. Still, he is determined to try to bring honor to his family.
He bravely sets out on a twenty-four hour quest to hunt and kill the animal that will symbolize the man he's destined to become. Armed with a few supplies and the tribe's ceremonial bow that much too large for him he sets out for a night alone in forest. Once night falls the Finnish wilderness becomes a strange and frightening place. He stumbles on a strange group of men that shouldn't be there. They seem bent on some sort of a criminal scheme. Unnoticed, he quickly retreats and heads up the mountain. An explosion overhead rocks the forest. Trees burst into fire. He discovers a smoking escape pod with someone or something inside. He lets it out and to his surprise it's the president of the United States. The words of the men he'd stumbled across earlier suddenly make sense. The president's life is in danger. If the great man is to survive, it's up to Oskari to lead him to safety.
     This was a great read. The reader will root Oskari success from page one as the boy proves that he is a man. There's, excitement, espionage, extreme danger and violence appropriate to the story. The plot rockets along like a movie thriller.

Target audience: Grades 7-9
Mystery / suspense: extreme & intense

Kid appeal: high
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