Monday, November 8, 2010
Book Review: Stealing the Wild by Beth Hodder
Beth Hodder’s Stealing the Wild (Grzzly Ridge Publishing) has all the ingredients of a good coming-of-age story–excitement, outdoor adventure, and a worthwhile lesson in the devastating act of poaching. In Montana’s Great Bear Wilderness, there’s not a telephone, cell phone, or Internet access within miles, as is still the case in many parts of the United States.
In the sequel to The Ghost of Schafer Meadows, Stealing the Wild finds twelve-year old Jessie Scott with her friends Will and Allie. While horseback riding, they come upon a deer carcass, an obvious case of poaching. Alarmed, the kids become obsessed with finding the perpetrator. As people pass through this section of wilderness–a group of four young people, obviously not experienced in wilderness travel; a lone horseman leading a mule; a hiker who has a knack for getting lost--the three friends are constantly exposed to clues and are drawn even deeper into the mystery. Jessie’s father, a wilderness ranger at Schafer Meadows Ranger Station, warns them about the danger of getting involved, but the three can’t ignore the intriguing clues.
Hodder’s real-life wilderness experience with the U.S. Forest Service for more than 25 years gives the story authenticity. She presents believable characters in this environment, while imparting the message that our wilderness is fragile. Further, Hodder handles the world-wide problem of poaching with finesse and without preaching, emphasizing the importance of putting a stop to this illegal trend.
Stealing the Wild is an exciting read, a story that both kids and adults will appreciate.
The book can be ordered through your favorite bookstore or through Grizzly Ridge Publishing, www.grizzlyridgepublishing.com