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The Green Ember (The Green Ember Series: Book 1) Paperback – December 12, 2014
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A captivating story with sword-bearing rabbits, daring quests, and moments of poignant beauty, The Green Ember is a tale that will delight and inspire young readers to courage and creativity. --Sarah Clarkson, Author of Read for the Heart and Caught Up In A Story
I don't usually tell people that there is a book they absolutely-must-no-questions-HAVE-TO-without-a-doubt read. But this one? How shall I put this? If I could choose only one book for my kids to read this year, this would be it. How's that for a recommendation? Go get it! Officially our favorite read-aloud ever. I'm recommending this to everyone who happens to lend me their ear for 5 seconds. From the Read-Aloud Revival to S.D. Smith: thank you for giving us this beautiful gem! --Sarah Mackenzie, Author of Teaching From Rest, Host of The Read-Aloud Revival Podcast
S. D. Smith has a voice for children and families that the world needs to hear. --Randall Goodgame, singer/songwriter for Slugs & Bugs, Veggie Tales
About the Author
S. D. Smith lives with his wife and their four kids in Grandview, West Virginia.
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Top Customer Reviews
A hero story, this is more Hobbit than Watership Down. More Narnia than Beatrix Potter. And it works. I was skeptical because I usually prefer my animal characters to be of the James Herriot kind - rather than the talking Beaver kind. But, this, like Lewis, somehow lets us forget that Heather and Picket are animals and instead we relate to the heroes in these interesting characters.
I had a hard time getting into the story. Because I had no idea what the intention was, I struggled in the first few chapters. They were almost too pastoral for me. Looking backwards, I understand now that they are in fact much like the beginning of The Hobbit - the innocence of the Shire (I mean Nick Hollow) must be acknowledged before the adventure can begin.
Once Picket and Heather and are on the run, the story comes alive.
I have waited weeks to write this review because I want so badly to communicate the profound value of this humble and tender little story. Even two months later, words fail me.
Heather and Picket are unwitting participants in an adventure that transforms them into the very best versions of themselves - in the old fashioned way. They suffer much. They struggle against themselves. They humble themselves. They confront their own worst attributes. And they do it with the help of incredible mentors and new friends who have their own complex histories.
There is so much to love about this book. It feeds the imagination, nourishes the soul and fortifies the character of the reader.
S.D. Smith is the creative force behind Story Warren - a website dedicated to being the horns of Rohan in our lives as we seek stories of truth, goodness and beauty that point our children to the Maker.
There is a sincerity in S.D. Smith's writing that makes the reader feel like they too could be the heroes of their own stories. Like the greats that Smith loves (Tolkien, Lewis, etc.), he tells stories worth knowing. Stories which inform the moral imagination and continue to speak to the reader long after the book has been returned to the shelf.
It is exactly as S.D. Smith says at Story Warren - they are on our side. They are allies in imagination.
I have been asked about the intensity level of this book. I would put it at the same level as The Last Battle. My four year old had no problem with this book but he is not particularly sensitive. I think that it is fair to say that the intensity progresses as follows:
The Green Ember/The Black Star of Kingston
The Hobbit/The Wingfeather Saga
The Lord of the Rings
Heather and Picket are young rabbits who are dragged into world events much larger themselves. Their journey begins as their parents are visited by mysterious strangers, and their father hints that the family history may be tinged with intrigue, betrayal, and great pain. Within the first few pages, Smith launches the reader along with Heather and Picket on a fast-paced flight away from their home and headlong toward something momentous. From labyrinths to hidden kingdoms, our heroes travel toward their destiny. Along the way they meet wonderful characters like the unexpectedly capable Smalls whose own path may be more dangerous than theirs. There is the dark and mysterious Helmer whose mastery of the arts of war draw Picket out from the prison of crippling self-indulgence and sets him on a trajectory of great danger and self-sacrifice. The wise Maggie O'Sage and Uncle Wilfred set hope firmly within their hearts.
Despite living in a blighted world surrounded by foes and treachery, Heather, Picket, and their new friends hold firmly to that hope. Till the Green Ember rises or the End of the World!
The Green Ember is at its core simply a good story. I recommend it as a read-aloud for younger children or a self-serve novel for middle schoolers. The reading level is comparable to the Chronicles of Narnia. My small kids love it. Rabbits with swords! What's not to love?
[Disclosure: I am related by marriage to the author. This relationship has not affected my objectivity when observing my children beg, "Please just one more chapter!"]