Fred Squire is our English knight in shining armor, although he originally had no intention of being anything close. All he was looking for was an excursion to the states to forget about his own family woes. His parents won a trip to Australia...for two! While they are off gallivanting through the outback, Fred is sent across the pond for his own holiday of sorts...complete with an assigned school project (bummer!). Making the most of it, the lad arrives safely to his destination getting a bit more than he bargained for. The American family he is staying with has a delightful daughter, Brittany, of whom he grows quite fond. She does not initially return same said feelings, although her friends would love his attention! It seems that there is something that is holding Brittany back from experiencing loves youthful glow...almost as if she is afraid to get too close. What could have happened to make her so guarded? The local harassing thugs with their leader, Steve Harris, do nothing but make all the young ladies feel uncomfortable in their presence. This mystery is unravelled by the story's end, leaving young Fred the hero from every perspective, and Brittany released of a once heavy burden.
The author's name alone would make you pause to inquire further. Storyheart's real name is Barry (hmmm, I see why the former is used on his books) and it appears as though his "better known as" name came from his prior writing excursion into romantic short stories. He came to America from across the pond to pursue his love interest...sounds a bit like the book if we fast forward Fred a decade or two. Amazon has a little "about me" page on him if you'd like to learn a more about this interesting character and read his continuing blog posts.
I must say that one of my favorite things, beyond the actual storyline itself, is the school project. Fred was required to create a listing of words and their meanings that differ between countries. Needless to say, this causes several hilarious situations as well as a few embarrassing ones as well! Let's see, a car's "trunk" is a "boot"...he perceives "bagels" as "beagles"...and there is an especially funny bit of confusion caused when Brittany gets a little upset and ends her sentence by saying "period". (I'll let you figure that one out, or better yet, read the book!)
Although it is a rather quick read, I was drawn into it the moment I began. It has humor. It has wit. It has love. It has baseball! (everyone loves baseball, right?) It also has an underlying message on a more serious note regarding teens and the potential secrets they keep. I'd highly recommend this book for all ages....seek it out for your next week-END break!
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Until next time...happy reading!