SLOWER, an e-book for young adults, assumed to have been published, copyright and written by Ted Shepherd.*
The story opens with 9th grader Emit Friend sitting completely bored in science teacher Ms. Beans’ class. He cannot understand how the other students, except for his cousin Ellen, are not also going out of their minds. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sleeps very poorly every night. Thus he falls asleep and is rudely awaked by Ms. Beans shouting his name. He awakens immediately and is told to report to the Principal’s Office. This is a rather routine matter for him, and besides the principal is a very old family friend whom he knows as “Uncle Dimitri” Zachs. Ms. Beans follows his arrival and accuses him of pulling a prank on her. He does remember dreaming of such activity but cannot believe that he was able to perform it. From talking with Zachs he suddenly realizes that he had done it and the tale evolves into a fast moving plot that follows his activities, some of which could turn him into somewhat of a new superhero. It is a story that includes a bit of physical science, cyber science, stock market manipulation, and history that involves Uncle Dimitri, his cousin Ellen, his Grandfather and others. Fundamentally however, it presents a seriously thought-producing for young, as well a older minds to contemplate
Summary: This should be thoroughly enjoyed, as well as providing serious thought paths by young readers.
*Amazon lists as: Ted Shepherd SLOWER
5* Young readers should thoroughly enjoy, while contemplating serious thought paths.
Nightmare Along the River Nile, Library of Congress Control number 2009910872, assumed published, copyright and written by S. E, Nelson.
Sub-titled “A Story of Twentieth Century Slavery” the author has set forth a fictional tale of one young man trapped in the vicious slavery system. It describes his entrapment, his subsequent treatment along with others similarly gathered, his unusually fortuitous escape bolstered by his deeply held belief in God, and his eventual rescue as the result of friendship rarely of such strength as to provide unending personal help that attracted further aid by truly altruistic individuals in prominent positions.
Discussion: “Written from an African perspective and in an African voice”, “this story was inspired by actual events that happened to many young boys and girls in the 1990’s in northern Uganda, who were abducted by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) rebels.” It graphically describes the vicious activity of these, and other rebel groups, their activity with the Mullahs who are a throwback to biblical times and buy these captives as they do camels and donkeys to use them similarly on their farms and other properties. It also presents an amazingly detailed picture of the barter methods that seem to be the normal way of life in many of the under developed areas of today’s Africa as well as the wide scale corruption that pervades all commerce as well as much interpersonal activity. Additionally, it presents a touching picture of deeply held faith. My only comment of an adverse nature is that from this reviewer’s perspective the story appears to focus less attention on the stated purpose of the book apropos the dedication, i.e., “to all of the men, women and children who are still in bondage anywhere in the world”. Instead, the book’s emphasis appears to be more heavily directed toward the intensely close relationship among the close friends and the remarkable altruism demonstrated by the other characters involved and how these factors, along with a devout religious faith, were able to accomplish a miraculous reunion.
Conclusion: A book that provides a most enlightening picture of parts of Africa, its residents, and their way of life but only partially encompasses the features the author seemingly was desirous of emphasizing.
4* 5* Description of rural Africa activities; -1 seemingly short of author’s intent.