Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
Set back during World War II, Bonnie Compton Hansonís Holly Jean and the Secret of Razorback Ridge is a delightful story of a young girlís journey from a big city to the hills of Kentucky and a mystery that she is just got to solve. Even an adult can enjoy this tale.
World War II was not easy for anyone especially the children whose fatherís were called into service and the women were called into the factories. Most stories focus on the adults in these tales, but Ms. Hanson focuses on a young girl who is excited to become a teenager but finds herself celebrating without many that she loved.
Holly Jean has lost her mother to death and now loses her father to the military. Her aunt who has raised her as a mother has to work all the time in the factories to help the war effort. She has to leave her home and friends to stay with her extended family in the hills of Kentucky. That is such a change for her from big city life. But she finds that there is fun and adventure even while picking berries and making jam.
While she is learning life in the hills, she discovers new friends and a mystery of music and ghosts up on Razorback Ridge behind her grandmotherís house. A murder, ghosts, and strange happenings make up the story that Holly Jean begins to unravel. In the process, she finds herself not only a teenager but a young woman maturing.
I really did enjoy this young readerís book. It is geared toward those twelve years old and up. What made is extra special was the time it was set in. Not many young reader books are during the World War II period unless they discuss the Holocaust or somewhere in Europe. This was an unusual take that I liked.
Throughout the book, the young girl does not hide her faith in God and her prayers to him to protect her father and herself through all the changes. She expresses her disappointment, bitterness, sadness, and forgiveness as she learns more of Godís protection and support.
The only thing I wish the author had done was add clarification on some words and phrases used in footnotes or a glossary. Not many children in todayís world know who Roy Rogers is or what saddle-shoes are. Ms. Hanson does a great job describing the 1940s but not all kids can relate as well. Other than that I enjoyed it.
The Kindle copy I had was a preview, so Iím honestly not sure if it looks exactly like the Kindle version you purchase. I usually expect in a preview copy, formatting issues and the like. This one did have it for me, so Iím not saying the one you purchase will not have any of this. Iím rating it totally on what I received and what I expected.
Holly Jean and the Secret of Razorback Ridge is a great read for young readers and adults.
Note: This book was provided by the publisher at my personal request.