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Posted February 27, 2011
Look at this cover. It's gorgeous. A promise of adventure in the South American jungle.
Does it deliver?
Yes, it does.
Sixteen-year-old Tag is tired. Tired of the way things are. The best way to break away is to be how he likes to be. Though he is fair with a spread of many freckles, he loves his hair black. Along with the spiked dog collar.
After a particular unsavory incident at school, his cousin rats him out and now he is facing his consequence: spending the entire summer with old Grandpa who chats with his wife's ghost.
Well, not exactly. He decides to sneak away when everyone's asleep. That's when he stumbles across the stone. Unable to resist the temptation to take it, he is whisked headlong into the past. Far into the past. When scripture heroes (and villains) roamed the southern part of North America.
This was a fun page-turner for me. I empathized with Tag, though he hated everyone and everything. A hidden darkness haunts him and he doesn't realize it until the purpose of his journey into the past unfolds. I feel as if Tag lost a bit of his voice when he sailed into time, but maybe it is because he is surrounded with others who don't speak slang? I cried when Tag finally finds peace in his heart. And forgiveness.
This is a beautiful, heartwarming story. It left me with much to think about.
Kathi Oram Peterson has created a wonderful, rich world that will have you neglecting your homework!