4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine a young girl who claims that she is your granddaughter you didn’t know existed showing up on your doorstep and then being stuck with her. This is exactly what happened to Tom as he was preparing to go on a trip with his good friend, William, and his daughter, Myra. Tom had been planning a trip to check on his grandfather’s grave in the Olympic National Park and return an old bone thrower before mining begins in the area and felt obliged to bring his contrary granddaughter, Sarah, along for the journey. What none of them expected is that Sarah would bring them on an entirely different journey altogether.
The Olympic Peninsula is a land full of magic, history, and legend. Even so, when Sarah claims that she’s seen a gigantic, short face bear that’s been extinct since the end of the last ice age, Tom, William, and Myra don’t readily believe her. Sarah’s tales become even more unbelievable after she goes missing for eight days and suddenly shows up with unexplainable injuries. Is it possible that Sarah’s tales of ancient societies, extinct animals, and historical places are true? What does this all have to do with the old bone thrower and will they be able to recover it before mining threatens to damage a potentially important archeological site?
Honestly, when I first starting reading Strong Heart by Charles Sheldon, I wasn’t expecting much more than a story of personal development. However, after setting a solid base, Sheldon quickly throws the reader into a realm where anything is possible. What I liked most about this book is that it went beyond any expectations I had before reading the book. The addition of fantasy and suspense keep the reader glued to the pages until the very end. The book is unique, interesting, and even a bit educational. I won’t forget it anytime soon.
The one downfall of the book for me is that it ended way too soon. You know a book is good when this happens, but I felt like there was so much more of the story left to go. I was left wanting so much more. I wish Sheldon would have included what happened on the rest of their trip and the trip they were planning to take the next year. That being said, there is a second book in the Strong Heart series, Adrift, that may answer some of my questions. If not, I still understand Sheldon’s reasons for leaving the rest of the story up to the reader’s imagination.
Overall, the book was better than I expected. I was fascinated by the ancient tales and archaeological facts presented throughout the book. I have a new interest in the Bering land bridge and the people that existed during that time period. The book is exceptionally well-edited as I didn’t find even one error. The book is appropriate for any age group, but young adults would find this book the most interesting. However, if you don’t like stories with a little bit of fantasy, then you likely won’t enjoy this book. Based on all the previously stated reasons, I rate Strong Heart by Charles Sheldon 4 out of 4 stars.
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