4 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is an adventure story involving Tom, his friends William and Myra, and the unexpected teenager dropped off on the doorstep. As the trio is getting ready for a backpacking trip to Tom's grandfathers final resting place, an unforeseen interruption of Tom’s long-lost granddaughter appearing makes things a little difficult. The decision to bring her along was made with reluctance. The group has no idea of the struggles that lie ahead of them on their journey. Sarah disappears and when she reemerges about eight days later, she has an exciting adventure story the trio finds hard to believe. After doing some digging and find facts to collaborate her story, everything Sarah said after reemerging may not be as crazy as it initially sounded to the trio.
I enjoyed Strong Heart for the adventure of saving Native American culture and for the emotional journeys that Tom and Sarah go through between the pages of the book. Tom wants to preserve his and others Native American roots in the Olympic Peninsula from the drilling the government wants to do. He feels that finding his grandfathers grave will give him the answers he seeks. After bouncing around from family member to family member who saw her as nothing but an inconvenience, all she wants is to find a place and sense of belonging with someone who will be able to give her the love she craves and deserves. I enjoyed that the novel was placed in the Pacific Northwest which is where I was born and raised.
The dislikes contained within Strong Heart were, for me, small and did not take away from the reading experience. The first dislike is that the dialogue between characters could be noted as a little flat which led to the feeling of boredom. The second dislike is that, for me, the beginning of the book started out a little slow but after a chapter or so the storyline picks up.
I would rate Strong Heart 4 out of 4 stars. The story is entertaining and teaches you, the reader, a few things along the way. You learn about family, friends, and growth as a person struggling to find oneself, which is something I feel all people go through at some point in their lifetime. Included throughout is a little bit of Native American history, which is always an interesting educational lesson.
I would recommend Strong Heart to any reader who loves a good adventure story, Native American history tidbits and maybe a few archeology lessons along the way.
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