4 out of 4 stars
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Tom Olsen is set out to go camping with his two native American friends: William and Myra. Their mission is to return an ancient artifact to Tom's grandfather's grave, and to rebuild it. Their plan is interrupted when suddenly, his former wife shows up with a thirteen-year old girl, Sarah, whom she introduces as their granddaughter. Sarah, with apparently no stable home since the death of her mother is forced to stay with her grandfather, Tom, in a place she describes as "the end of the earth". William eventually convinces Tom to bring Sarah along with them on this camping trip.
Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a fictional novel that takes your mind through an imaginative and unbelievably magical world. It is a correct blend of adventure, science, mysticism and family ties. It has a well developed and interesting plot that kept me engaged till the very last sentence of the story.
After reluctantly agreeing to bring Sarah along, the story tells their experiences as they journey and the relationships and ties that develops among the characters. The story is written mainly from Sarah's point of view as she recounts the story behind her sudden disappearance. The pace, though not fast, was enough to keep the reader going. The plot like I earlier mentioned was really intriguing, though I found Sarah's mystical world somewhat unrealistic. I was unable to figure out clearly which era the author took the readers back to. However, I enjoyed the adventures in this mystical world. The characters were interesting: the most fun part being the way Sarah named them. I found them really funny and couldn't stop myself from laughing when I first came across "Weeps A Lot" and "Weeps A Lot More". It went a long way to add humour to the story.
The book overall is well-researched and very informative; filled with vital information on human evolution and settlement, the ice age and the legendary short-face and black bears which have been extinct for more than sixty thousand years. If there is one thing I did not like about the book, it will be the abrupt ending. It lacked a proper closure and left me a little bit frustrated.
I would say that Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon was a fun read for me. Sarah's experiences played out quite well to present her as a strong character, making the title of the book worthwhile. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for the intriguing plot, quality of information presented and the strong character of Sarah. I would have reduced one star because it lacked a proper closure, but I enjoyed the book anyways, so I maintain 4 stars. I recommend this book to lovers of adventure and mysticism.
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