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The Fisherman's Son
by Marilyn Peake

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 1403397155

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered

When it's time to introduce a child to beautiful language in a book she can read herself, A Fisherman's Son might well be an excellent choice.

Writing her first children's novel, psychologist Marilyn Peake brings the elements of the tales we cut our teeth on up to a level for a child who's a bit older. The protagonist is a boy of twelve who is forced to grow up quickly. He loses his mother, his father is absent and, when he senses his own destiny, he must find the courage to face the trials posed by many of the greatest myths including those of the Greeks.

The story has the flavor of time-honored tales partially because it is so well-rooted in tradition. There are talking animals, an imaginative lost city, a dragon-like nemesis and more. Even the narrative style evokes the feeling imparted by fairy tales.

This book might be a good choice for a child who is having difficulty learning to read. The type is double spaced making for easy sight reading and the quick turning of pages. This is also a good format for younger readers to try reading silently on their own.

The language in Fisherman is not so roseate that it deters a reader but occasionally delights nonetheless. Consider:

"…a yellow ball..rolled by…Had it not been for its brilliant turquoise blue eyes, Wiley
would have assumed the fish was a child's lost toy."

One caveat: Many REVIEWERS have classified this book at Young Adult. The author does not. Perhaps it can't be easy categorized, but I believe that "Young Readers" would work better. Though a fantasy, it is not woven with the intricacy that readers from thirteen to eighteen would demand. It certainly appeal to those for whom it was intended.

(Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards.
Her newly released Harkening has won three.
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