4 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a work of fiction that tells a wonderful story about a connection with family, friends, and heritage. Tom is getting ready for a backpacking trip to the Olympic Peninsula when an unexpected guest arrives at his door. Standing before him is his granddaughter who he was unaware existed. Obviously rattled by this discovery, Tom thinks of postponing his trip but his friends Myra and William convince him to take Sarah with him on their backpacking trip to visit the grave of Tom's father and what would be Sarah's great-grandfather.
Strong Heart is a book filled with adventure as well as magic. What I liked most about the book was the emphasis on reconnecting with one's roots and learning about your cultural heritage. Sarah had lost all of her family and her grandfather was the last person that she had. Through the backpacking trip, she and her grandfather develop a great relationship and he tells her incredible stories about their heritage and where they come from.
As noted, there are magic/fantastical elements in this story which makes the book all the more exciting. Sarah sees a bear that was supposed to have been extinct for thousands of years and then she disappears for eight days into some other world. When she is found she recounts the most fascinating tales of her adventures. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of the book. The tales which Sarah tells makes for a very engaging read and makes it impossible for there to be a dull moment in this book.
Furthermore, at the beginning of this book, Sarah was very closed off and had difficulty trusting people because of all the hardships she had faced which can be very difficult for a thirteen-year-old. However, by the end of this book, we really see that she has blossomed into a more outgoing and lively person. It's nice to see how the book highlights the importance of knowing your identity and where you come from. It is because Sarah has her grandfather in her life she is able to learn about parts of her life and culture that aid in the development of her character. Although this is a work of fiction and magic, there are many aspects of this book that people can relate to and learn from.
All in all, I give this book a 4 out of 4 stars. This was a great read and I didn't find anything that I disliked about this book. I did not find any grammatical errors and it looks as though this book has been professionally edited. There are moments when profanity it used but it is kept to a minimum. This book is best suited for people who enjoy reading about events that took place long ago as well as people who simply enjoy reading about others' adventures. Strong Heart is truly a heartwarming story that I believe most people would enjoy and get a kick out of.
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