4 out of 4 stars
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Simon Seeker by Frank Wallace is a story of friendship, adventure, and environmental conservation. Written exclusively for adults, this is the coming-of-age tale of a young boy who touches the lives of everyone he meets. It epitomizes the messianic quote, "And a little child shall lead them".
Simon’s best friends are animals and insects. He has never known the world beyond the confines of the farm and the neighboring woodlands where he grew up. After his father’s passing, their home goes up in flames and young Simon embarks on an adventure alone to see the world. He encounters a plethora of people including a truck driver, a sex worker, a TV show host, and a student writer. They find Simon wise beyond his years and they are in awe at his innate understanding of ecology and of life. Fame comes his way, but Simon remains as humble as ever. His main concern is for the protection and care of the natural world and he inspires all whom he encounters. When his legal guardian comes into the picture, Simon’s goals are threatened with the possibility of attending school.
Simon Seeker is a unique story which will inspire its readers and instill in them a deep love and respect for nature. I really enjoyed reading this book because my major is Environmental Science. Since I have a background in ecology, I liked how the author incorporated facts about animals and insects in the tale. For example, ants were one of Simon’s favorite things to talk about. One time, he launched into a description of Dominique chickens. The author also highlighted important environmental concerns such as how bird populations in cities were decreasing because noise pollution prevented them from hearing other birds’ mating calls.
In addition to ecology, Simon also had a great understanding of life and death because he had witnessed it during changing seasons and on the farm where he lived. He also believed that everything was made of stardust. Simon spoke about the cyclical nature of death, composting, and returning to stardust. It was interesting to read about this from a child’s perspective. Additionally, Simon touched the lives of everyone he met. They began to see the world differently and they ultimately evolved into better people. I think the author’s choice to use a child as the main character was very effective in getting across some remarkable concepts and lessons to readers.
What I liked most, however, was that this book made me more mindful of the little things in life. The story inspired gratitude and appreciation for life. Simon was cut off from society for most of his life, so while on his adventure, he experienced many things for the first time such as eating lobster, watching a movie at a cinema, and making human friends. This brought a smile to my face and I felt thankful for the food, entertainment, and friendships in my own life.
The only thing I disliked was that the ending seemed drawn out. In my opinion, the story could have been concluded much earlier if some of the minor conversations and events were trimmed off. The book was edited fairly well and only contained a few minor errors. There were a couple of profanities, but there were no erotic scenes. Although the book is mainly about Simon who is about twelve-years-old, it is best suited for adults. I would recommend it to anyone who likes nature, children, and science. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars for its inspirational characters and the wise lessons which it will impart to its readers.
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