Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*A World Away (The Quest of Dan Clay, Book 1)* by T.J. Smith- young adult book review
 
Also by T.J. Smith:

The Harrowing Escape (The Quest of Dan Clay, Book 2)
 
A World Away (The Quest of Dan Clay, Book 1)
by T.J. Smith
Grades 9+ 328 pages Tate Publishing October 2007 Paperback    

For thirteen years, the Clays have lived with the guilt and loss of the unexplained disappearance of their eldest son. Seven-year-old William wandered into the dark of the forest and never returned, leaving behind only an old toy in front of a large oak tree. His apparent death changed the Clays drastically, and their youngest son, Dan, seemed stuck in a lonely rut throughout his youth.

Danís memories of William are few and faint, yet he never stops wishing for his brotherís presence. Spookily real dreams of William in a castle urge Dan to the place of Williamís disappearance: the oak. What awaits him there are realities that no one could ever have imagined - or could they? Dan is determined to find out if William was taken through the portal of the oak tree into a parallel dimension. Unfortunately, the forest in the alternate dimension is filled with evil and death, and that is where Dan is destined to go.

Through faith and his gift of guiding dreams, Danís resolve to find his brother remains unfailing. With the aid, faith, and support of his friends ó in addition to unexpected help from an unknown entity ó their chances of their mission's success feel more secure though the dangers continue to grow. Battling horrific beasts, deadly vegetation, lethal wounds and potential starvation makes for a bleak journey, yet Dan's continued faith Dan affords healing ó both physically and mentally ó that canít be beat. It's a good thing, too, since the battle to be faced at the castle where William may be a prisoner is destined to be their most perilous.

Author T.J. Smith has put together a unique genre-blended novel for young adults, a tale meant to show how prayer, faith, and devotion are a personís greatest strength in the challenges they will face. Rich creativity brings a foreign yet undeniably intriguing world alive.

On the downside, the in-depth nature of Smithís writing passes the point of monotonous when pages and pages of text are committed to non-essential and repetitive acts of the group such as walking for hours, setting-up and taking down campsites, and watches during which nothing happens.

Otherwise, this well-woven tale is thoroughly enjoyable for those looking to be immersed in a good series.
 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
 
web reviews
  Sonia R. Polinsky/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  






For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (www.curledup.com)