One of the best things about this blogging-and-other-social-media lark is all the GREAT people one meets! Heck, sometimes I feel I interact more with my blog "friends" than I do with my F2F (face-to-face) pals--and in that I'm including the great Don Vito who's just returned from his annual holiday in Sicily!
One of the writers I've recently met is Margo Sorenson. She's the author of 27 books for children, plus (to the Don's great delight) she speaks Italian, having lived in Italy as a child. She's also lived in Hawai'i, so we're all totally envious!
And Hawai'i is where her latest novel, ISLAND DANGER, (recently released by MuseItUp Publishing) is set. The main character, Todd Halliday, is being sent against his will to spend the summer with his uncle, aunt, and cousins on Oahu. He's visited before, and he chafes at his uncle's military bearing and at his cousin Chris' rule-following.
What Margo Sorenson does really well is get us into Todd's head. At the start of the novel, he's not a particularly likable 14-year-old, and he's dismissive of a number of things (especially his cousin.) But we come to understand that what he really wants and needs is attention. Initially, he goes about it all the wrong way, hoping to find an arms cache and get some media glory. However, during the course of the novel, he comes to realize that Chris is not the "dweeb" and tattletale he first thinks. Todd also stands up to one of his uncle's anti-Hawai'ian tirades, and comes to have empathy for a family of Hawai'ians camping in the forest. By the end of the novel, we've come to appreciate Todd and his growth as a person--which is something all good novels accomplish.
I really enjoyed ISLAND DANGER. It's a fast-paced and thrilling adventure, and would be particularly appealing to that hard-to-reach middle grade demographic that likes sports, surfing, and danger.
(By the way, another of the bloggers I admire, Deb Marshall, had a fantastic review of Island Danger last week, plus a great interview with Margo. And I think today is the last day to earn a chance to win a free copy of ISLAND DANGER--which is exclusively an e-book--from Deb. Head there now, and tell her the Don sent you. Or go straight to Muse It Up and buy it HERE.)