Thursday, November 27, 2008

REVIEW: The Old Man's Secret by Sandra Kay Austin


Corey has just moved from Toronto to the small village of Bryan's Ford, where things are definitely not the same. To start with, a girl named Miranda is the only one living near him who isn't an adult and she doesn't seem all that happy he's there. Then, there's mean Old Man Marshall, who keeps showing up at the weirdest times to make him angry. And there's his mother's refusal to answer any questions about the man, and the way she just keeps ignoring everything wrong and she keeps repeating, "It's just you and me and God now." Besides that, he keeps running into the scary things that he doesn't know about such as bears. However, when Miranda begins to introduce him to a new world that includes things like pig-wrestling and frog-catching, their friendship begins to grow. But the mystery around Old Man Marshall grows too and when they search for answers in his abandoned mine, the adventure really begins. And when he findsthe answers he's seeking, Corey receives the biggest surprise of his lifetime.

My Review:
This was a cute book with well-fleshed-out characters. I'm thinking my son might even enjoy this book!

The only thing I had a hard time with in this one was the fact that the author tended to "tell" instead of "show". Nothing was left to the readers' imagination... everything was told to you. That can get tiresome.

Otherwise, though, I thought the author did a great job of both narration and description. Everything was very vivid, and I felt that I was right there in Bryan's Ford. Corey's feelings were described well enough that I really came to care for him. Miranda, on the other hand, was a pain in the butt! Her attitude really grated! LOL. But, perhaps that was the author's point -- perhaps it was intentional. ;)
The "secret" wasn't something even I could figure out! The author did a great job of keeping you in suspense until the very last little bit.
And, the Christian element was minimal, written in a way that youth would appreciate.

Recommended for young-adults, definitely.

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