I love young adult time-travel. So when I heard that Jeffrey S. Savage had written a new book titled The Fourth Nephite I quickly volunteered to read it for a review.
Here's the back liner of the book:
Busted. Football star Kaleo Steele gets caught under the high school bleachers with the wrong group of friends. Even worse, he's caught by his seminary teacher, Brother Mortensen. If Kaleo gets turned in, he'll be in jeopardy of missing the regional championship game.
It doesn't help that Kaleo has been cutting seminary class. What's the point? Mumbo jumbo stories about gold plates and Joseph Smith? Brother Mortensen decides Kaleo is ready for an extraordinary "field trip"--one that could alter the course of his life and heart.
Reluctantly, Kaleo begins a journey that sends him to meet a mysterious old blind man and travel an underground maze before pushing through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827.
Soon, Kaleo and a nineteenth-century friend named Jennie are caught up in a battle between treasure seekers--led by Alistair Blackburn, a necromancer, hired to steal the gold plates--and the young Joseph Smith, who has sworn to keep them safe.
In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide for himself what to believe and who to trust. Before it's too late.
This book is such a fun read. A small blurb is placed before each chapter. It is written as though Kaleo is talking to the reader and gives just a hint of what the following pages hold in store. What a wonderful writing device to pull you into the story!
As you read about Kaleo you find he is a guy you want to see succeed. You're there hoping he won't go with his friends to a party where you know something bad will happen. You listen as Kaleo reasons his doubts away and convinces himself it will be all right. You feel Kaleo's horror as he is caught by his seminary teacher. And you also feel his panic as he worries that all the years he has trained in football to play for college football scouts may never happen because of that one split second he let down his guard.
As I followed Kaleo on his trip to visit Ladan when he became lost in the tunnels and found himself in Palmyra, New York in 1827, I couldn't help but wish seminary teachers today could actually send troubled teens on the same adventure. But then I realized...all our youth need do is read this wonderful book that shows the prophet Joseph as a real person whom they would probably like if they had a chance to meet him.
I strongly recommend The Fourth Nephite. It's a wonderful, fanciful novel that not only entertains, but teaches.
(I was given a free copy of this book to read. I reviewed it because I liked it.)
Kathi Oram Peterson is the mother of three, grandmother of two and wife of one. She has always loved books, whether she’s reading or writing them. Her first published novel was The Forgotten Warrior (2009) followed by An Angel on Main Street (2009). Her new novel, The Stone Traveler is now in stores. Her next novel, River Whispers, will be released in the spring of 2011.
Photo by Marc Reynolds