Official Review: Welcome to Shadow Creek by Don Williams

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
CataclysmicKnight
Posts: 910
Joined: 26 Jan 2015, 19:51
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 106
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 68
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 61
Favorite Book: Ready Player One
Currently Reading: The Banned Book about Love
Bookshelf Size: 1080
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cataclysmicknight.html
Latest Review: Simple Man Simple Message by Mark Dobosz

Official Review: Welcome to Shadow Creek by Don Williams

Post by CataclysmicKnight »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Welcome to Shadow Creek" by Don Williams.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


I was a Boy Scout for most of my youth, and that experience taught me to hate camping. The bugs are terrible, dirt doesn't make a good bed no matter how thick your sleeping bag is, and it's always either too hot or too cold. Although I would never do it again, the magic of spending several days in nature with nothing but a cheap tent for protection is an experience I never want to forget.

With that said, I can fully endorse Welcome to Shadow Creek: April 1961 by Don Williams as the best way to go camping. Despite this being a fictional story, I could really feel the dirt under my feet as the boys walked, smell the campfire, taste the bologna sandwiches, and feel the exhaustion of a long day in my weary bones right along with the characters.

Welcome to Shadow Creek: April 1961 tells the story of Lib, a 15-year-old boy who's stuck going on a camping trip with his brother, a couple of his brother's friends, and his dad. Lib doesn't really fit in, though: he's a shy kid who has trouble spitting his words out when he gets nervous, and he'd be far happier reading than camping. But as the three-day trip goes on, Lib starts to let loose and enjoy himself. Better yet, as he bonds with and learns from his father, he starts gaining some self-confidence as well.

What stuck out to me the most about this book is just how descriptive Don is. Everything from the way breath smells to the wearing down of barbed-wire fences is given poetic descriptions. This is especially true of some of the magical things about camping, like Lib's first campfire. I was able to put myself in both Lib's and his dad's shoes, alternating between feeling Lib's nervousness and his father's pride at seeing Lib do something on his own for the first time. Lib's growth in the book is perfectly natural, and the way that Don blends Lib's imagination into the story is terrific. Lib talks to himself, animals, and even the trees from time to time, and he's quick to apply little stories to things he sees.

The way the teenagers are described is perfectly fitting too. All four boys genuinely seem like different people. Burl is the typical big brother, Foy (Burl's friend) is a bit of a braggadocious jerk, and Coy (Foy's twin brother) is far more laid back. The most ridiculous things happen while they horse around, trash talk, and challenge each other to various competitions.

Unfortunately, Welcome to Shadow Creek: April 1961 is a little too much like the camping trips I've been on. It goes on a bit too long, with nearly every moment detailed. Sporadically throughout the book, Lib picks up his book and reads about the adventures of Spud and Termite, which are written out for the reader as well. Don't get me wrong, it's a neat trick: we're removed from the camping trip in the same manner that Lib is. But if readers are going to be pulled away from the primary story, I would've preferred a better secondary story.

In addition to these negatives, I came across a dozen grammatical errors in the book. Despite that, I'd still consider it a well-edited book. The book is over 200 pages long, and the rest of the writing is exceptional. My rating of Welcome to Shadow Creek: April 1961 is 3 out of 4 stars. It felt like a slice of my childhood, and I'm rather stunned that a book could ever capture that feeling! I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA writing, camping, and/or stories about a teenager coming out of his shell and finding some self-confidence. There's no profanity or sex in the book whatsoever, making it safe for anyone to read.

******
Welcome to Shadow Creek
View: on Bookshelves
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

User avatar
D_A_M_Martinez
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Jul 2019, 17:02
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 4
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-d-a-m-martinez.html
Latest Review: Finding A Job in Tough Times by Dr. Tim Johnson

Post by D_A_M_Martinez »

It looks like an interesting book and the way it is described in the review really helps to know what to expect of the book. Nice review

Miller56
Posts: 387
Joined: 22 Jul 2019, 19:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miller56.html
Latest Review: "Loving Aretta" by R.W Mathis

Post by Miller56 »

Thanks for the review. I grew up camping and my family still loves camping out every summer. I am sure that I would relate to the book. I also feel that I learned about myself during hikes and sitting around the fire. Nature teaches us about who we are. This sounds like a book to read.

Nizar Ali Shah
Posts: 255
Joined: 12 Jul 2019, 12:56
Currently Reading: Tourist Trap
Bookshelf Size: 148

Post by Nizar Ali Shah »

A YA tale which revolves around a camping trip of a shy boy sounds lovely.Their family s and friends joint camping helps them alot and they get a good experience of life.The book is free from profanity and sex whatsoever and making it safe for any one to read.

User avatar
Ferdinand_otieno
Posts: 2576
Joined: 03 Jun 2017, 12:54
2019 Reading Goal: 300
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 96
2018 Reading Goal: 250
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 140
2017 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Favorite Author: Victor Rose
Currently Reading: Amethyst of Destiny
Bookshelf Size: 1047
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ferdinand-otieno.html
Latest Review: Peoushi: An American Legend by Michael F. McWilliams
fav_author_id: 78026

Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

This is a though-provoking coming of age Young Adult fiction story on the experience of camping, growth, maturity, and decisions. The book has a free sample on Amazon Kindle and has an inciteful OnlineBookClub review. I rated the book 3 out of 4 stars. Congrats on the BOTD.

User avatar
rohit1parmar11
Posts: 1
Joined: 24 Oct 2019, 10:51
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by rohit1parmar11 »

It is easy to understand what book really wants to say by this book review

User avatar
Amy+++
Posts: 978
Joined: 12 Apr 2018, 17:49
2019 Reading Goal: 10
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 90
2018 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 700
Favorite Book: The Mister
Currently Reading: Dark Ghost
Bookshelf Size: 212
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amy.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins
Reading Device: B01CRGNO4S

Post by Amy+++ »

I do not enjoy camping and I probably would not enjoy a book about camping. I am going to give this book a pass.

User avatar
MsTri
Posts: 1760
Joined: 02 Jul 2017, 12:56
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 241
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 391
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 15362">The Prodigal Son</a>
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 665
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mstri.html
Latest Review: Spider Season by Billy Hanson
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by MsTri »

I actually do enjoy camping, quite a bit, but I'm not a fan of books that involve characters bonding or coming to better know themselves, so this one's a 'no' for me. Thanks for the review, anyhow.

User avatar
cpru68
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1442
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 19:21
2019 Reading Goal: 24
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 116
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 229
Favorite Book: What My Dog Taught Me About Jesus
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 179
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cpru68.html
Latest Review: Heaven's Call by Roger Dawson
Reading Device: B00HCNHDN0

Post by cpru68 »

This sounds like the author really captured the charm of the era and how Lib’s experiences are so real. I’m not a big YA reader, so I’m passing on this one, but I appreciate the insight to help me make a good decision.
Everything happens for a reason...

User avatar
Everydayadventure15
Posts: 821
Joined: 20 May 2019, 19:07
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 72
Favorite Book: The First to Forgive
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 167
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-everydayadventure15.html
Latest Review: Escape From Giant's Crown by Trent Kaniuga

Post by Everydayadventure15 »

A camping story sounds nice but I’m not a huge fan of YA books. I like books targeted towards an older audience.

User avatar
Jsovermyer
Posts: 989
Joined: 18 Sep 2018, 22:41
Currently Reading: & Life Goes On...
Bookshelf Size: 99
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jsovermyer.html
Latest Review: A Child Left Behind by Phil Hutcheon

Post by Jsovermyer »

Welcome to Shadow Creek is a YA novel about a shy, stuttering boy who goes on a camping trip with his brother, his brother's two friends and his father. He would rather read his books instead of camping, but soon becomes entranced by the beauty of the wilderness. Congratulations to the author for his coming-of-age story that was chosen as BOTD. Thanks to the reviewer for your excellent review.

User avatar
jemgirl202
Posts: 1408
Joined: 17 Feb 2016, 15:33
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Bookshelf Size: 854
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jemgirl202.html
Latest Review: My Angel My Hero by Brenda E. Mcdaniel

Post by jemgirl202 »

This sounds like a perfect book for those who love camping or young adult novels. I do love how the author really captures the essence of nature with the descriptions. Congrats on the book of the day! Great review.

User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 2135
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 60
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 53
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: Happy Healing
Bookshelf Size: 634
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: The Cartel Crusher by Dan E. Hendrickson
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Post by Vickie Noel »

Uh, no, I don't think this book is for me because I'm not really a fan of male bonding plots. It's great that Lib develops as a male, and I can imagine his father's pride. I may have been more interested in the boys' adventures if there was a hint of feminine energy somewhere, but that isn't the case. Nonetheless, I'm glad the book stunned you in a good way!
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2005
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 140
Currently Reading: Surviving the Business of Healthcare
Bookshelf Size: 118
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This sounds like a fun coming-of-age book not only about camping but about a boy finding himself. I love that this book is set in the outdoors and describes the camping trip in detail. It is too bad that it felt too detailed at times. Thanks for the great review!

Aditi Sapate
Posts: 374
Joined: 26 Apr 2019, 02:18
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 92
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aditi-sapate.html
Latest Review: The Necessity of Finance by Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV

Post by Aditi Sapate »

I haven't ever been camping, but I still found this book to be a good read. I agree with you on the poetic descriptions. Even the smallest thing, like the open book stared up at the freckled face reading it, made me realise the immense potential this author has. If he could do away with the grammatical errors, it would be a perfect read!

Post Reply

Return to “Young Adult Fiction Books”