By Tim Fox
Amazon Digital Services
$2.99 for e-book for Kindle and Nook
$12.95 for paperback
$6 cross-curriculum for teachers
Tim Fox connected with me through Wisconsin Authors and asked for a review. Although he sent me his story, I did buy the book.
Fox’s richly-imagined story takes place in Ice-Age central Wisconsin where good and evil and life and death, as they always do, hang in the balance. There are mastodons, boys with candy bars in their back backs, good aboriginals and evil-intended aboriginals, lots of laughter, discovery of new foods and even a highly-embellished language.
Twelve and ten-year-old brothers Mark and Barry go on a camping adventure at Natural Bridge State Park with their uncle. Uncle Steve and the boys’ father have been estranged since the death of Steve’s sister, Mom to Mark and Barry. Using a mastodon tooth and stone spear point found on the book-opening adventure, the boys travel back in time to Ice Age Wisconsin, where they encounter a lost Ice Age boy and two mastodons. Running from a band of warriors intent to kill them, the odd little family joins together to survive. Through the Natural Bridge, which becomes a time portal, Steve can peek at the events the boys experience, as well as the Ice Age boy’s grandfather. Conquering fear of the unknown encourages life-changing decisions. Fox sums up his story in a quote near the end:
“There’s a purpose. Are you ready to listen? Somehow it clicked. He (Mark, main character) realized he would never understand it all, but it was enough to know there was a purpose. He realized that the joys, the struggles – they were all part of something greater. It made their lives more than just a collection of experiences. They were a part of a rich tapestry – an interweaving of time, events, people, and animals that challenged and enriched not only their own lives, but the collected experience of creation.”
Although the author, a former school teacher, breaks away from most common guidelines of YA literature, I found the story interesting. Touching up the text by tightening, staying in one perspective per scene, choosing language for the audience – average three years younger than the characters, or elementary set, a few less bathroom jokes, and watching formatting issues, Journeys would make a great classroom read. Fox provides a cross-curriculum guide at extra cost on his web site. Visit http://www.journeysiceageadventure.com for more information.