"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." Graycie Harmon
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The Stone Traveler, by Kathi Oram Peterson
Before I talk about the book, let's meet the author, Kathi Oram Peterson. She grew up in the small town of Rigby, Idaho. She says this about growing up in Rigby, "I love my hometown where the drug store still has a soda fountain and where people wave hello to strangers." Just hearing that makes me want to visit. Her road to getting published took "years and years and years," according to Kathi. But along the way she won a few contests, earned her English degree, and finally sold her book, The Forgotten Warrior, in 2008. This young-adult, time-travel was released in January of 2009. Then in late fall of that year her Christmas book, An Angel on Main Street, came out. Her new book, The Stone Traveler, was released in August 2010.
In 2011 she will release a romantic suspense novel. The working title for this book is River Whispers. It’s set in the fictional town of Trailhead, a small town next to a fictional national park that also named Trailhead. The protagonist, hot-tempered, but kind-hearted Regina Bernard, finds a dead man in river willows as she's fishing. Panicked, she immediately searches for the sheriff and tells him. But she didn’t know that the investigation would turn toward her, that someone would try to kill her, or that she’d once again find love with the man who had broken her heart when she was young.
That sounds like my kind of book and I can't wait to get my hands on it. In the meantime, I want to tell you about The Stone Traveler.
From the back of the book: Sixteen-year-ol Tag can’t believe he’s in this much trouble. He’s not actually a member of the gang known as the Primes—all he did was spray paint some graffiti that caught their attention. In all honesty, every since his dad and brother left, Tag just wants to be alone. And it’s certainly not his fault that the Primes nearly beat up his goofy cousin, Ethan. But his mom is furious about these gang-related activities and insists that Tag spend the whole summer at his grandpa’s lakeside cabin, which is not Tag’s idea of a good time. So he does what any self-respecting teenager would do: run away. But he doesn’t get far before he encounters three strange men carrying an even stranger object— a stone that glows with radiant light as bright as a thousand sparklers.
Tag doesn’t steal the stone—not exactly. He feels like he is supposed to take it. But he doesn’t expect the stone to transport him through space and time to a place he’s never seen before—a place that looks an awful lot like the ancient lands described in the Book of Mormon. And he definitely doesn’t expect to join Sabirah, the entrancing daughter of Samuel the Lamanite, on a quest to rescue her father and brother from the evil King Jacob. And he absolutely doesn’t expect to be captured by Jacob’s minions and prepared as a sacrifice to the evil idol of the city. But just as Tag faces his death, a terrible storm begins to break, and the ground cracks into jagged pieces. And he’s not sure which event will impact his life more: his captor’s knife coming at his body, the violent tempest sweeping the land . . . or the men who later appear, glowing even more brightly than the traveler’s stone.
This story is geared toward a YA audience, but I guarantee that adults will love it just as much. Kathi is a very visual writer and her stories really come to life. She knows how to balance just the right amount of description, action and dialogue to create a well-paced story that keeps your interest from the very first page. In The Stone Traveler we meet Tag who is struggling to make sense out of things that have happened in his life, challenges that have caused him to doubt his faith in God.
His mom sends him to live with his grandfather and cousin for the summer in hopes that he will make changes in his life and turn away from friends and activities that keep getting him into trouble. But Tag has other plans. He devises a plan to runaway and meets a stranger while he's scoping out the bus departure times. Brushing off the meeting he continues with his plans and sneaks out of his grandfather's house only to get caught in a downpour. Luckily he finds shelter in a rundown cabin and is startled when three men come inside, one of the, the man he met the day before while looking at the bus schedule.
Quickly his world turns upside and he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the Book of Mormon, with a girl named Sabirah, who claims she's been waiting for him. Her father, Samuel prophesied that a wayfarer would come to help her when she needed him most.
Thus begins Tag's journey into the Book of Mormon. But his experience goes beyond wars and evil King's and false idols. It is here that he finds the answers to his questions, and peace to his soul.
This is a beautiful story that makes the scriptures come alive and will bring hours of enjoyment.
My greatest claim to fame is my family. I am married to my prince charming and have four awesome children. This year I experienced the joy of becoming a grandmother to my sweet baby girl Halle. I love to travel and I love to write books.