Review Title: The Art of Truthfulness (review of Shades of Truth by Naomi Kinsman)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
This book is part of a series, “From Sadie’s Sketchbook,” and is categorized as Juvenile Fiction. The author, Naomi Kinsman, has a gift in weaving together events in the life of young middle school/high school age character, Sadie, that escalate into the drama of knowing the truth, or what appears to be the truth, and then the difficulty of determining the proper time, way, and persons to reveal it to. The adults in the novel face their own sets of problems that are realistically portrayed and shown to be an additional source of stress in Sadie’s life.
Through new friendships, Sadie is subtly introduced to church activities in a non-preachy way. This element in the book should not offend those who want a full picture of all the elements involved in the lives of people around them. The church is a necessary part of the plot because it is a place of refuge at one point. Don’t let the mention of church or Christians scare you away from this good story. The few Christians portrayed are shown to be flawed people who look to a higher power for help in troubling times. Sadie, the main character, is a seeker and wonderer about such things.
The book shows both sides of a controversial issue, the hunting of bears. The coverage of the issue will be enlightening to all who are interested in wildlife.
Another feature of the book is the sidebars at the end of the chapter that show connection with Sadie’s BFF through e-mail and another device that gives backstory and a bit of relief from the building tension in the main story. This part seems like a bonus to the main book and makes the whole book deserving of an A+ rating.
The next book in the series, Flickering Hope, promises to be excellent, too, based on this first offering. All who enjoy a good story, no matter what age, will appreciate this author’s expert storytelling ability.