What if R.J. Palacio (Wonder, White Bird) dropped a new book recently and very few noticed? Perhaps it's because it is in a completely different genre (western/ghost story) and a different timeframe (1860, Ohio) then her modern classic Wonder. This story is a bit of True Grit mixed with The Sixth Sense.
It follows 12-year-old Silas Bird, a bit of an odd outsider, because for most of his life, unlike most around him, he can see ghosts. One of them has been his constant companion since he was little. One night three mysterious outlaws kidnap Silas' father. The man has a dark past, with possibly some dark secrets. The boy and his somewhat magical white-faced Pony (named Pony for lack of anything more fitting!) go on an adventure to save Dad. Silas encounters many people on his journey through the fields, the woods and ultimately a cave dwelling; eccentric mostly, both living and dead.
The book is full of heart, humor, adventure and the second half really picks up with excellent action 'set pieces' and a few surprises and twists. What a change of pace for Palacio, but she pulls it off with lots of style and a fun (though often dark) energy. It weaves in themes of courage, love, spirituality and acceptance of ones past seamlessly. This book is highly recommended for any reader of young adult fiction! For ages 10 and up. Click here to request a copy today!