On the Volcano

On the Volcano

3.6 3
by James Nelson
     
 

Read James Nelson's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

Katie and her widowed father have always lived on their own, high up in a place few intruders would dare approach: alongside the crater of a collapsed volcano. They've built a simple but happy life for themselves, far from the frontier perils of the world below-until a long-promised

…  See more details below

Overview

Read James Nelson's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

Katie and her widowed father have always lived on their own, high up in a place few intruders would dare approach: alongside the crater of a collapsed volcano. They've built a simple but happy life for themselves, far from the frontier perils of the world below-until a long-promised birthday trip to the rough-and-tumble town of Badwater takes an ugly turn and brings the outside world much too close. With it comes grave danger and unimaginable loss, but also something Katie had barely dreamed possible for herself: a heart-pounding but tender romance, the kind to build a life on.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Charla Hollingsworth
In the 1870s, Katie and her father live a solitary existence homesteading on the edge of a volcano. Katie's parents moved to the volcano before she was born in an attempt to escape the violence in nearby towns. A week before her sixteenth birthday, Katie's father finally allows her to accompany him on his yearly trip to Badwater, the nearest town. While in Badwater, Katie meets a handsome deputy sheriff, Adam, and is accosted by a local delinquent, Jess Starkey. Katie manages to defend herself, but this only further enrages the bully. Several months later Jess makes his way to the volcano, ambushes Katie, and attempts to rape her. Luckily, Katie is saved when her father kills Jess. This begins a series of events that leads to the deaths of a family friend, Katie's father, and Jess's father. Katie finally finds happiness when Adam resigns his job with the sheriff and journeys to the volcano to ask Katie to marry him. With his first foray into fiction, Nelson has created a moving tale of frontier life. Katie shows a tremendous fighting spirit as she deals with the trials in her life. On the Volcano is perfect for historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoy Patricia Reilly Giff or Sherry Garland. Reviewer: Charla Hollingsworth
School Library Journal
Gr 7�10—Katie and her father live happily in self-imposed isolation on the rim of a dormant volcano in an unnamed country, possibly in the 1800s. One of their few contacts with other people is her father's lady friend Lorraine, who comes for extended visits and is a combination friend and surrogate mother to the teen. For her 16th birthday, Katie wins a promise from her father to take her along for the first time on one of his rare trips to the nearest town. The excursion is cut short when rough young men give Katie a hard time; however, she also meets the sheriff's handsome young deputy. Katie and her father are skilled hunters and spend much of their time pursuing game for their table. On one hunt, one of the town ruffians attacks her, but she is saved in the nick of time by her father, who metes out his brand of justice. The story is of rugged frontier living with situations that may make readers question the characters' actions, which include lying to the authorities and killing people for reasons other than self-defense. The writing has scant description of the characters' emotions, and Katie is the only character who approaches being multidimensional. The story has a happy ending, but only for the teen and her deputy.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
Kirkus Reviews
It's 1871, and 16-year-old Katie's widowed father, Jack, has raised her all alone on the slopes of a volcano in the Pacific Northwest. When Katie finally convinces Jack to take her into the town of Badwater, he forces her to dress like a boy and act like a mute. However, she is discovered to be a girl and manages to attract the attention of both town bully Jess Starkey and handsome deputy-in-training Adam Summerfield. When Jess follows the family back up the volcano and attempts to rape Katie, Jack kills him. Jess' murder sets into motion a manhunt that results in three more dead and concludes with an earthquake, Katie's marriage to Adam and an unsexy sex scene. Despite the body count and gritty frontier landscape, this is an oddly passionless tale; it is told in limp dialogue that conveys little sense of time period or setting. The author's choice to set the story in a location that is recognizable as Mount St. Helens but use fictional place names also lessens the plot's punch and robs the story of context. Katie's first-person voice is less innocent than it is obvious, and Nelson's simplistic prose tells far more than it shows. If you're looking for True Grit, better keep riding. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399252822
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

James Nelson has been a magazine editor, a copywriter, and a Naval officer. He lives in California.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >