Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fourmile by Watt Key

FourmileThis book was recommended by our school librarian, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Foster lives on a run-down farm with his dog, Joe, and his widowed mother. His mother is dating a mean, dangerous man, and Foster does not get along with him at all. Then, a stranger is walking by and ends up living in the dilapidated barn for awhile. The stranger is a former special forces soldier who seems kind and helps to fix up the farm. However, the stranger is hiding something about his past, and Foster's mother warns Foster to keep his distance from the stranger. His mother's drunken boyfriend isn't happy about the stranger staying there, and a showdown between the two men will be impossible to avoid.

The author did a nice job of developing several conflicts at once. Foster had trouble dealing with his father's death, the mom had trouble with her new relationship, and the stranger had hidden issues of his own. The drunk boyfriend added suspense to the plot. I liked how all of the characters grew and dealt with their problems, except for the boyfriend. He never learned his lesson.

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Cover image for RevolverThis book was given to me by a student, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Sig lives in a remote Alaskan cabin in 1910 with his father and older sister, however his father falls through some ice and freezes to death. A stranger with a gun shows up and says Sig's father stole some gold from him. Sig has no idea about the gold, but the stranger doesn't believe him. The situation gets a little more intense when Sig's sister returns from town, and he realizes no one is going to come with help. Sig knows his father has hidden a gun in the storeroom, but is he willing to use it to kill a man?

I found the setting and conflict interesting, because they're not common in novels. Some readers might not like the book, because there are a limited number of characters and settings. The setting has flashbacks to 1899, but most of the story occurs in the cabin during winter. The plot doesn't have a lot of action, but it does create suspense. Sig shared many of the beliefs of his religious mother and stepmother, so it made solving the problem a bit more complicated.