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The Puzzle Master [Kindle Edition]

Heather Spiva
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $6.00 (86%)
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Book Description

Twelve-year-old Marshall Thompson’s favorite place in the world is Luke’s Junk Store. With one last trip in before school begins, he’s intent on finding the perfect thing to take on the first day back to impress his friends. But his “great find” ends up being a girl ... and a friendship begins that will change him forever.

Together, they share a love of puzzles and something else: sickness. With his asthma, and her in cancer-recovery, they are linked as kindred spirits. But when a life-changing incident threatens their friendship, Marshall has to learn to pick up the pieces to his broken puzzle of life and put them back together.

The Puzzle Master is a story of friendship, love, forgiveness and hope -- issues that surround all of us at the youngest of age. Through Marshall's tragedies and triumphs, he learns to forgive and accept change, even when his trials seem insurmountable.

Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 298 KB
  • Print Length: 136 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Heather Spiva; 1 edition (February 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007A3M0H6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 8, 2012
By Carolyn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once I started reading it, I hated to put it down! It kept me entertained, and I felt pulled into the story as if I were there watching it all unfold.

I have a son who is 10 years old and this would be a great book for him to read as well. I can't wait for him to read it so we can have a book talk about it.

I hope Heather has more stories inside of her to tell because I would love to read more of what she has to share.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that touches the heart August 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Twelve-year-old Marshall has just discovered a new passion: rummaging at junk stores for that perfect treasure. And Luke's junk store is the best, so crammed full of stuff that a person can't begin to see everything in one visit. That's why Marshall spends so much time there. But his mother doesn't approve. She thinks he should spend more time at home with his older brother and little sister. Never mind that his brother is totally fixated on girls and getting a car, or that his little sister is a spoiled brat and tattletale. Marshall is a misfit in his own family.

Then one day, just before the new school year starts he meets Iris, Luke's niece. Iris is pretty with short, dark brown ringlets framing a pale face and large, luminous eyes. But there is much more to her than her ethereal beauty. She is funny and has a wonderful imagination. Marshall introduces her to his second passion, jigsaw puzzles, and the two of them spend hours imagining that they lived wherever the puzzle takes them--to lighthouses on stormy shore, farms with loads of animals, and elsewhere. Soon he learns that they have something else in common. They both have illnesses and would prefer that other people didn't know. But Iris's illness is much more serious than Marshall's as Marshall will soon find out.

The Puzzle Master is an engrossing story with two very lovable characters. It made me cry. Buckets and buckets of tears. I admit that I am an old softy, but this story ranks right up there with "Where the Red Fern Grows" and "Sounder". What I will remember about it long into the future is the personal growth that Marshall experiences regarding friendship and relationships with peers and love of his family. For this reason, I put it on my list of favorites. I recommend it to all middle grade readers who have the fortitude to read sad stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding! August 1, 2012
By Nikki
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first review and I must say this book was a wonderful surprise. I didn't know what to expect and was amazed! The relationship portrayed between two children was inspiring. What a beautiful example of a true and pure childhood friendship. We can all hope to have someone touch our own lives so deeply.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story about friendship June 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this story about a boy and his special friend. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking, but the strength of family is a comfort to read. The characters are well-drawn, sympathetic and interesting, not schmaltzy. Heather Spiva is a beautiful writer. I highly recommend THE PUZZLE MASTER and look forward to her next novel, which I hope will be soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and superbly written novel May 27, 2012
Being asked to review a writer's work is always a privilege and never more so than with Heather Spiva's YA novel, The Puzzle Master.

What's the secret of writing for a teenage market? Don't lecture, don't patronise - but top of the pile, write a book anyone would want to read.

And that's what Heather has done.

Marshall is a young lad, growing up in Sacramento. As the middle sibling he's frustrated by his young sister's whining and elder brother's arrogance.

As kids we all want to fit in at school and with our peers. But Marshall suffers from asthma and he hates how his inhaler flags up his `difference'. He finds solace at the local junk store, sifting through treasures looking for that special something.

And here Heather breaks out of the normal YA novel format. Marshall meets the junk shop owner's niece. Iris is special, a fragile young girl and they immediately find they have much in common - not least the pleasure in completing puzzles.

Drawn into a world they alone create, they share an openness and honesty we all yearn for. Marshall, for his young years, is a mature soul and cares for Iris as a friend. The girl has lost her parents and battled cancer, and yet she still has a tough but sensitive spirit.

As the book drew to a close, the tears rolled down my cheeks. The ending was terribly moving and I felt honoured to have met Heather's characters.

But please don't think this is a depressing read. It's terribly uplifting and offers a fascinating insight into the strength of children.

At the beginning I mentioned that a YA author should write a book anyone would want to read - this is it. But not only that, it's a book everyone should read.

Five stars, without a shadow of a doubt. And my final comment - this should not be self-published. Someone out there should spot this talent and support this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing January 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
At first I wasn't sure what this book would be like, but then I started to read and get into this book. To me this book has an amazing message this is a good book for kids and adults to show how precious moments of life is. In many parts of this book I was smiling and others bawling. I usually don't leave reviews but this book touched me and I just had to. As short as the book is it amazingly displays the reality of life and what people go through. Do not judge this book and try reading it and you will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful look into the imagination of children
An easy read,a delightful story, refreshing, brings the reader to imagine along with the characters Marshall and Iris. Read more
Published 13 months ago by nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Puzzle Master
This book was read by both my children and they loved it, unfortunately it is not testable for AR reading. Don't understand why not, it is an excellent book.
Published 14 months ago by praisehymm
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Slow beginning but great in the end. Great way to show young readers about the power of forgiveness and God's love
Published 14 months ago by Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This was a great book that showed lots of courage, but also showed shalt great friendship really
And that you should value the ones you love. Read more
Published 17 months ago by maribel
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story for middle schoolers
Heather Spiva's breakout novel deals sentively with an issue most middle schoolers don't have to face. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jane Daly
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly Written
The author's grammer is terrible. I find it difficult to understand some of the things she writes because of her blatent misuse of commas, conjunction words, and words that she... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Rachael
5.0 out of 5 stars The Puzzle Master
Very easy to read book. Easy to get interested in. Enjoyed the two main characters and the Christian influence represented.
Published 22 months ago by R. Atwood
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This book was a very easy read. I do feel like this book was a bit fast paced, but it was still a very good book.
Published on June 19, 2012 by Maggie Wang
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More About the Author

Heather Spiva lives in Northern California, and loves to write, read and shop vintage clothing.

You can find her blogging regularly -- or really, non-regularly as life would have it -- at about various writing or literary things.

The Puzzle Master is her first published book.

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