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Sheltered: When a Boy Becomes a Legend by Jacob Paul Patchen
With America under attack from within, twelve-year-old James must fight his way to freedom while trying to hold onto his values and virtue.
“We are all given a space in life to fill, a roaring emptiness in time… and it’s how you choose to fill that void that will determine the difference in becoming a man or a legend.”
That’s what my father said to me a few years ago before he walked out on Mom, Emily, and me. If I would have had any sense back then, I would have asked him exactly what that meant.
Instead, I’m out here learning it the hard way – dodging bullets and bombs while America is at war – my friends fighting back with all we have, while trying to keep these orphaned children safe and our dreams alive.
They call us The Risers. Well, okay… so we call ourselves “The Risers.” But either way, we’re out here doing everything we can just to survive and rise up from our nation’s ashes with honor, integrity, and justice.
Now, with smoky memories of a lost childhood, and the horrible, lingering, cardboard taste of MRE crackers (still left over from living in Dad’s bomb shelter), my mini army and me march forward, taking back what was once taken for granted.
But to be honest, I’m really just out here winging it. Wish me luck.
“A story that rallies your spirit and lifts your soul.”-Readers’ Favorite
“An original and compelling work of dystopian fiction.”-SPR
Sheltered: When a Boy Becomes a Legend by Jacob Paul Patchen is a timely, coming-of-age, adventure story featuring an ordinary boy caught up in extraordinary circumstances. A story full of action, nail-biting situations, and moral dilemmas, this is a memorable story that will resonate with both young people and adults.
James is a typical 12-year-old boy enjoying summer break when the story begins. Living with his parents and older sister in rural Ohio, his days are full of hunting and fishing with his Dad, a former Marine. His mother, a local TV news reporter, is careful to keep her children close but otherwise, it’s a pretty normal life – until his Dad leaves home for no apparent reason. As James struggles to understand his father’s defection, one day his mother heads off to work to deal with an emergency. From that point, James’ world rapidly disintegrates. The United States is invaded by a faction called The Alliance, and James needs all his wits and the skills his father taught him to survive. What follows is a stirring tale of growth, endurance, and hope, as James becomes the legend his father hoped he would be.
This story is perfect for teens and young adults, but even as an adult I found much to love. Much of it is told in retrospective, which gives the author many opportunities to layer emotions in with the action. It’s an effective method, as it allows the reader to feel what James is going through as a young man maturing during a time of strife, violence, and fear. Keeping the voice of his father in the back of his head, James becomes a charismatic and empathetic leader of a group of children. He’s not just a strategic leader but also their moral center, as he helps them all survive without losing their basic humanity. The author deftly interweaves this throughout the story, so the story remains fast-paced and exciting, not preachy.
Sheltered: When a Boy Becomes a Legend reminds me a bit of Red Dawn, so if you’re a fan (which I am!), here’s your chance to share an updated imagining of what could happen should this scenario ever play out. A splendid balance of adventure, ethics, bravery, loss, and love, this story has something for everyone. Sheltered: When a Boy Becomes a Legend by Jacob Paul Patchen comes highly recommend by Artisan Book Reviews . Book reviewed by Kids Lit Book Café.
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