Riding Out the Storm by Claudia Jones © 2006

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    Riding Out the Storm  by  Claudia Jones   © 2006   Llewellyn  ISBN  0-7387-0867-4         234 pages Paperback            $8.95 (U.S.)     $11.95 (Canada)

    This is a novel for the 12 and up crowd.  But it is a novel with a major difference from  most of the occult-themed juvenile novels I have read.  Ms. Jones is a teacher and an author of two books on parenting.  So, the emphasis in this novel is a bit different from most.  Plus, it contains Questions for Discussion at the end of the book.  This is an idea which would be a good  trend to get started in books aimed at this age group.  The questions are designed to get the reader thinking about the themes in this book.  They are designed to get the reader involved in the “why” as well as the “what” of the story.  Good idea in my opinion.

    The story has a little bit of everything – reincarnation, Christian attitudes, the Internet, school bullies, friendship problems, adoptive families, a love for horses – and it makes it an effort to make it all feel authentic.

    Emily is a 15 year old girl who feels she has to find her family from a previous life; one she had no knowledge of before she nearly drowned in P.E. class.  A therapist tries to find the trigger for the panic, expecting to find it in her early childhood.  Instead, she discovers a memory of a life as a young man who died twenty-some years ago.  Her mother is supportive to an extent.  Her father is less receptive.  Most of her classmates see nothing but humor in the situation.

    There are no deep metaphysical secrets here; no attempt to change anyone’s way of thinking.  This is just an enjoyable story about a group of people trying to deal with concepts which fall outside the range of their normal lives.  It is enjoyable and fun, so if you are looking for a fun read for the teens in your life, this would be a good book to get for them.


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