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Secrets of Shilohcomment (0)

January 16, 2014

By Martine Bates Sharp

Jill Watson Glassco. Bloomington, Ind.: WestBow Press, 2013. 44 pp. (Large paperback).

"Secrets of Shiloh,” by Birmingham author Jill Glassco, is billed as a mystery story for older children and teens. The first thing the reader notices is the incredibly beautiful illustrations — watercolors done by Birmingham artist Donny Finley. The book isn’t about the illustrations, though — it should stand on its own merits.

And it does, in a way. The book is well written with an engaging story. The problem is that it is too good a story for a book of this length. Read in only a few minutes, the story leaves the reader feeling cheated. The author has created a great setting with solid characters and an engaging plot, only to rush through it in 44 pages. Too short. I would like to savor the story a while longer; I’d like time to wonder about the clues in the old man’s cryptic message. 

On the plus side, the author does weave in a Christian message and includes questions to be discussed by families. I would certainly recommend it for older children, but I hope for her next effort, the author will use her abundant talent in a book that realizes its full potential.  

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