3 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charles Sheldon is a fascinating story that includes history, adventure, suspense, relationships, and family dynamics. The experiences stem from finding an ancient atlatl, a spear-thrower, and trying to find out when its historical significance. A group of friends and family members include William, Tom, Myra, Sarah, and eventually Sergei, who explore the Olympic Peninsula in search of the atlatl to either bring it back for dating or bury it with Tom’s grandfather Robert Olsen, Bob-Bob.
The adventure includes exceptionally rough terrain, weather elements, animals, and men who want to find erbium on the land. Erbium is a resource that would remove toxins from coal. Finding the erbium would be very lucrative for the company, and they will pull out all the stops to get what they want. If the other group finds that atlatl and can prove this should be considered sacred land, it may stop their mining. This quest certainly provides lots at stake for both sides. This quest certainly provides lots at stake for both sides. Magic, history, and legend fill this holy land.
Sarah, while angry at Tom, her grandfather goes off on her own. The group searches for her for eight days. She returns with a story that they all find captivating, as would the reader.
My favorite part of the book is how Sarah’s story intertwines with the history of the land. It goes back and forth between the group adventures and her narrative. The suspense makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens with the characters. The author does a fabulous job with character development. You feel like you know them personally and take a stake in what happens to them.
My least favorite part is keeping all of the characters straight in Sarah’s story of what happened while she was lost. There were so many people to keep track of that I should have started a chart with names and descriptions when she began her retelling.
I would give this book 3 out of 4 stars because I did find a few errors. I would recommend this book to the young adult or adult reader that likes suspense mixed with history and data. It truly is exciting, and I didn’t want the book to end. I hope there is a second one because I feel like the story could certainly continue. I was shocked when it ended, and I wanted to find out more.
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