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EJToday I'm honoured to be sharing my thoughts on a book by another talented young author. Now aged twenty-one, Akea was written by the then fourteen year old Elizabeth Jade who 'stumbled into writing when she began to suffer from anxiety and depression'. 

I'm hoping get to know Elizabeth Jade a little better when she guests on Pen and Paper (if you have any questions you'd like me to put to her please leave them in the comments) but in the meantime you can read more of her life story here.  FGT


This husky, wolf story is a new addition to the great animal fiction tradition of Jack London and Erin Hunter, where the story is told through the eyes of the animals. Elizabeth Jade has created a captivating coming of age story which also teaches children about friendship and loyalty, and that being different doesn't mean you can't belong. It is a captivating chapter book for eight to twelve year-olds. Akea is born into a family of sled dogs and a life that follows a predictable path, but from the day she first sees the lone wolf, Kazakh, Akea knows her future lies beyond the safety of her home. Kazakh is well aware of Akea's destiny and the pack laws he will break to help her reach it. Regardless of the challenges ahead, he must make sure this young husky will be ready, even if it means his life.
- Amazon.Co.UK Blurb

The sun rose slowly over the treetops, its amber light doing its best to soak up all the dew.
- First Sentence; Chapter 1

One quiet afternoon, however, while the owner was out, she slipped away from the others and sat staring at the forest now covered in snow, wondering what had become of the wolf. With a heavy sigh she joined her family in the shed and lay down sleepily by the dog flap. Suddenly in the distance a howl broke the silence, ....
-Memorable Moment; Page unnumbered

SOURCE ... Received with thanks from Elizabeth Jade's mum had had sent a copy of the manuscript.


MY THOUGHTS ... Written by the then fourteen year old Elizabeth Jade, Akea is a powerful story written with a wondrous sense of reverence. A tale
that's bound to attract all animal lovers but is particularly appealing to its target audience of eight to ten year olds.  Parents of younger particularly sensitive children might want to give the book a read through first as there are one or two darker scenes that though handled extremely sensitively and in the main are largely hinted at rather than too graphic might still prove upsetting but then again ... an unavoidable part of this kind of setting, a great starting point with which to begin discussing some of the situations/issues raised??? 

A coming of age story with a difference ... and yet is it? 

A story of what it is to be true to ones self, of what it is to persevere despite what might seem like insurmountable odds. I loved that whilst Elizabeth Jade gave a voice to the animals she resisted the temptation to over-humanise them; thought it clever that whilst their innate wild nature was respected they were written so that young readers could relate to them, would grow to love them and want to follow their adventures.

Compelling; there's action, there's peril, there's twists and turns galore, there's suspense, there's a battle for supremacy, heck, there's even a sweet love story. 

Young though she may be I can see a wonderful future ahead of this young lady. Her writing is fresh; she has a wonderful feel for both plot and (more importantly to my mind) character and her knowledge of pact mentality is impressive.

... And then of course there are the magnificent often dramatic illustrations.

Thank goodness then that the second book in the series, 'Akea - His Mother's Son', is currently being edited.

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This post first appeared on Pen And Paper, please read the originial post: here

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