4 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a well written fiction.
Sarah Cooley is a 13 year old orphan, teenage girl. Her step-father gets a job in Europe and she comes to live with her grandmother, Ruth. After keeping Sarah at her home for five days, Ruth takes her to Tom Olsen (Sarah’s grandfather). Tom is packing for a trip to Olympic Peninsula to visit the grave of his grandfather, Bob-Bob, with William (Tom’s friend) and Myra (William’s daughter). At first, Tom is reluctant to go to the trip with Sarah, but, agrees when William persuades him.
During the camping, Sarah makes friends with William and Myra. Tom shows them an atlatl that he took from the park forty-five years before. Sarah is a very stubborn and talented girl. She draws a sketch of a short-faced bear that has been extinct for over twelve thousand years. Nobody believes her, and shortly after that Sarah goes missing, along with the atlatl. Tom, William and Myra spend about eight days searching for her. They almost loose hope, when, Sarah unexpectedly returns to the camp during a storm. She does not talk for days. After resting for some days, Sarah breaks her silence and tells everyone an unbelievable story of what happened to her.
The book is written in third person, but the story told by Sarah about her adventures, is written in first person. The story of Strong Heart is very interesting, with a lot of twists and turns and mystery. The camping sites, such as Godkin Creek, Bear Valley and Elwha Valley, are depicted in a very detailed way. The reader will be hooked by the wonderful landscapes created by the author. The plot of the book is well written and the story is very heart-warming. The emotions and life of an orphan girl are very well explained by the author through Sarah’s character. All the characters mature and their bond strengthen as the story unfolds. In the beginning, Sarah does not like Tom. But, when she realizes that Tom believes in her stories, she starts liking him and affectionately calls him Tom-Tom.
I really liked the book and I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. All the characters of the book are well portrayed by the author, which gives depth to the story. I was so snared by the story that I could not keep the book off. I admire Sarah’s character the most. She is a very brave and intelligent girl. She learns throwing darts and carving very quickly. She saves Myra’s life by throwing darts at Roger and Raymond. She also survives alone for eight days, without food and warm clothes in the forests of Olympic Peninsula. She is a very good artist and I appreciate her strong vision. I enjoyed the scene in which Sarah injured Fletcher (Ruth’s husband) with a dart to save herself from being abused by him. It demonstrated her self-confidence and her self-defense skills.
I really appreciate the efforts of the author. He has worked hard for gaining knowledge about early humans, extinct animals, artifacts, fossils, different ice ages and valleys of Olympic Peninsula. The reader will gain a lot of knowledge from this book about the lives of first humans that ever existed and the animals that have been extinct thousands of years ago. People who like to go for hiking and trekking would definitely appreciate this book. I liked the deep-rooted legends of early humans that the author has written in the book. The reader will find that Strong Heart is an appropriate title for the book, as the story unfolds.
This book is well formatted. It is divided into chapters and paragraphs, which facilitates the reading. Also, there are no grammatical and spelling errors. The dialect of the book is anything but difficult to peruse. I recommend this book to all the readers.
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