Monday, April 18, 2011

On The Volcano-James Nelson

On The Volcano
James Nelson
Putnam, Apr 14 2011, $16.99
ISBN: 9780399252822

Born in 1858, now fifteen year old Katie MacDonald has lived her entire life with her widower father in an isolated forest on the high rim of a volcano; her mother died when she was two. In Katie’s entire life span, she has met two other people besides her dad; Dan a family friend and Lorraine the nurse who comes to stay with the MacDonald father and daughter for a few months periodically before moving on.

However, to celebrate her sixteenth birthday, Katie dressed as George accompanies her dad for the first time on his annual pilgrimage to Badwater. She meets two people; kind Deputy Sheriff Adam Summerfield and mean spirited Jess Starkey who attacks Katie. She fights back and escapes. The raging nasty punk vows to find her and enact vengeance his style. A few months later, Jess arrives at the volcano rim and jumps Katie. He starts to rape her, but her dad kills him. Others including her father soon die too as revenge becomes a norm until Adam gives her hope.

One thing leads to another in this intriguing young adult historical fiction as vengeance proves a strong motivator to find the MacDonald concealed homestead. Although Katie seems at critical times too mature for a sheltered naive teen, readers will enjoy her survival On the Volcano when her first trip to a town proves tragically devastating yet somewhat filled with hope.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: