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The Stone Traveler Paperback – August 2, 2010
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About the Author
Kathi Oram Peterson was born in the small town of Rigby, Idaho. Since childhood she has loved reading and writing stories. After raising her family, she put her writing on hold to earn a BA in English and a minor in sociology at the University of Utah. Upon graduation, she worked for a curriculum publisher writing and editing concept and biography books for children.
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By Kathi Oram Peterson
Kathi Oram Peterson understands the challenges and triumphs of youth. In The Stone Traveler, she has not only created a troubled youth from our day, she has created a cast of enchanting characters from 34 AD Meso-America who are beset by the concerns of their own complex time. When the dubious actions of our main character, 16-year-old Tag Quincy, catapult him back two thousand years into young leader, Sabirah's ancient land, both come to discover that dangers abound in both worlds, and that ultimately, peace for each is based on the same two important elements.
When Tag's father and brother leave the family unexpectedly and without explanation, the changes that occur in his once-perfect world cause Tag to systematically rebel against everything he once believed in. The impact is most apparent on the outside as Tag assumes a Goth-like persona with an angry, rebellious attitude to match.
Ironically, it is on a day when he is actually trying to save his own spineless cousin from being attacked by the problematic gang recruiting Tag that his good intentions are misinterpreted, landing the full weight of his mother's disappointment and anger on him. The result is a summer of banishment to his grandfather's lakeside cabin for an attitude adjustment, and Tag will have none of it.
While making his escape one stormy night, Tag happens upon the cabin where three strange men take him in. In their possession is an intriguing glowing stone that entices Tag until he decides to "borrow" it. But the stone exacts its own consequence, hurtling Tag back into 19-year-old Sabirah's violent world where he is viewed as the promised Wayfarer who will help her locate her own missing father and brother. As the two teens form an alliance, Tag's dependence on Sabirah's cunning and wisdom eventually diminishes as he emerges as a young man capable of far more than he ever believed.
Kathi Oram Peterson's The Stone Traveler is a wonderful coming-of-age story that delivers a solid fantasy tale with beautifully-paced spiritual elements woven throughout. It's written in first-person, through Tag's and Sabirah's distinctive voices. It took me a few chapters to catch the rhythm of the story, but from the middle to the end I was turning pages furiously, intrigued by unexpected plot twists and surprises at every turn. Her characterizations are distinct and endearing, and her ability to maintain their individual voices while allowing them to grow and develop, was executed masterfully.
The book raises important topics such as family unity, loyalty, integrity, faith, testimony, trust, true friendship, marriage prep, etc. Moreover, the subtle comparison between Tag and the rebels of Sabirah's day is compelling.
Published by Covenant, The Stone Traveler will satisfy adults and youth alike, making it a wonderful family book to be shared and discussed together.
Sabirah is described as an Amazon Warrior Woman: "flawless dark complexion; long, shiny, ebony hair hanging freely about her shoulders as if it were black water pouring over her skin; and mesmerizing doe-like eyes. A leather tunic clung to her shapely form. Hanging around her neck from a leather strap was a small jade carving of a wing-spread eagle...a white dagger beneath her waistband...a spear in one hand and a sword in the other."
This dark-eyed beauty is a believer. Her father once told her to remain strong as an ocean wind in her beliefs. He also said the Lord would send a young wayfarer to aid her in her quest. He would be foreign to her people and she must watch for him. Who was this wayfarer?
Each chapter takes the reader back in time to ancient America and then forward to the present time. While Sabirah is defending her people, we go forward in time to AD 2015 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Tag is having his own troubles. Because his mother is worried about his choices in life, she sends him to his grandpa's lakeside cabin for the summer. When he decides to run away, he meets three men carrying a stone that glows with radiant light. When Tag holds the stone in his hand, it transports him into another time and dimension...to ancient America. Before long, he meets Sabirah, the enchanting daughter of the great prophet Samuel the Lamanite. Together they try to rescue her father from the evil King Jacob, a nonbeliever who is persecuting all believers.
This story begins to build with intensity when Tag helps Sabirah, is caught, and about to be sacrificed to an idol by the nonbelievers. But that's not all, without warning the ground rumbles and quakes...a tempest arises... gigantic whirlwinds appear...and everyone runs for safety.
The Stone Traveler grabbed me from the first page. Kathi Oram Peterson knows how to write a story with intensity and feeling. The ending is uplifting and inspirational and makes you a "Believer."
--Review written by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho, a Semi-finalist for the Reviewers Choice Award, and the new mystery series, The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I couldn't wait to get back to it each time I had to set it aside. Tag is a great, likeable kid. His experiences with Sabirah and her people stretch and change him and I appreciated how he came to know who he was and his worth as a person.
I loved how Kathi brought the Book of Mormon experience to life, especially as it related to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his subsequent visit to the Americas as portrayed in 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Honestly, I was moved to tears at one point.
While not a sequel to Kathi's book The Forgotten Warrior, this book is part of the same series. However, all the loose ends are tied up and everything is resolved at the end of the book. The target audience is YA, but I think it appeals to adults and teens alike.
An enthralling story and one I can easily recommend.