Novel brings Haitian slave children to light

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WEB review gold exchangecopyright the Chronicle February 11, 2015

Reviewed by Tena Starr

The Gold Exchange, Exposing Haiti’s Child Slavery System, by Susan Belding. Paperback. 273 pages. Published by Willoughby Gap Press. $8.14 on Amazon.

Susan Belding (who many of you would know as Susan Ferland) is a former Lake Region Union High School English teacher. She now lives in Florida, where until last month, she continued to teach, although to a quite different student body than the Northeast Kingdom’s. Many of her students have been Haitian, and those students inspired her to write The Gold Exchange, a young adult, coming of age novel that takes a look at Haiti’s deplorable restavek system.

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Debut novel draws page-turning journey

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WEB mill horse reviewcopyright the Chronicle November 26, 2014

The Clever Mill Horse, by Jodi Lew-Smith. Paperback. 409 pages. Published by Caspian Press, Hardwick. $16.99

Reviewed by Tena Starr

Jodi Lew-Smith has written a rollicking story here, as unlikely as that seems, given that the plot revolves around securing a patent for a flax-milling machine. I would not, myself, have thought of patent rights as the most gripping subject for a young adult adventure novel.

But it works. The characters are well drawn, for the most part, and the plot has considerable twists and turns.

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Girl treks to Vermont in post apocalyptic novel

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WEB polly reviewcopyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

Polly And The One And Only World, by Don Bredes. 335 pages. Paperback. Published by Green Writers Press. $14.95.

Reviewed by Tena Starr

Polly and the One and Only World is a page-turner.

I picked up the book on a Monday night, was a little late for work Tuesday morning because I desperately wanted to know what happened next, and finished it at two Wednesday morning.

You know that kind of book — the kind where you look at the clock and tell yourself you really should turn the lights off and go to sleep. Instead, you say, well, maybe just one more chapter, and keep saying it, until you’re at the end and know you’ll regret it in the morning.

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