Monthly Archives: August 2013

Little Boy Lost by Vada M. Wolter and Joseph A. Zapalac


little boy lost coverLittle Boy Lost is a wonderfully crafted book set during the 1930s and 40s. Raised by his stern Czech grandparents on a share croppers farm, Johnny learns about hard work early. There are few bright spots in his isolated life – his mother, his dog, his Uncle Ethan and his friend Becky.
Each thing that brings joy is torn from him and he continues his solitary life. Despite all the negative aspects, he finds solace in his surroundings. All the joys of the country are his.

Little Boy Lost is a poignant account of Johnny’s life – from birth to age twelve. We find him a sweet child. Lonely and alone, there is still a sparkle in him that won’t be quenched.

I greatly enjoyed Little Boy Lost. It’s a wonderful book, written from Johnny’s perspective, viewing the world as he does. The characterizations of other characters is minimal. The focus is on Johnny and how he sees them and what they mean in his life.

I highly recommend this book. Though very like a memoir, it reads like a novel. I find it difficult to describe the true nature of this book, but I know to read it is to love it.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes



Ricochet – by Michelle Izmaylov


ricochet by michelle izmaylovRicochet by Michelle Izmaylov, is an in depth character study of a man whose life was torn apart by WWII.

Konstantin is a bitter old man. The war robbed him of his innocence, morality and his beloved son. Now, nearly 20 years later, he bears the scars and hatred left him from that time.

The only bright spot in his life is his granddaughter, Sophia. She is the one pure, beautiful thing left to him. He will stop at nothing to protect her. Sophia falls in love with a young man of German heritage. This love infuriates her Russian Jewish grandfather. He refuses to see the good in the young man his granddaughter loves. Provoked by anger and hatred of an entire race, he sets himself a course for revenge.

Konstantin is not a likeable man. He is, in every sense, both hero and villain of his story. Hero in his unwavering protection of Sophia – completely villainous in the way he goes about it. Ricochet delves into Konstantin’s world, surrounding the reader in his psyche. He has little remorse for his actions, though he does hope for redemption.

Sophia is a lovely girl. Despite her grandfather’s irrational hatred of Germans, and old country values, she blossoms into a beautiful, charming girl. Not blinded by her grandfather’s obsessive hatred, she falls in love with the wrong man – at least from Konstantin’s perspective. Rather than allowing his loathing to warp her, she rises above it. Though told from Konstantin’s point of view, the story is as much about Sophia as it is about her grandfather. In my eyes, she is the true hero of the story.

Michelle Izmaylov adopts a strong voice and point of view for this tale, having Konstantin tell it in his own words. He is one of the least sympathetic characters possible, but Izmaylov captures his fears and frailties well. We don’t want him to succeed, but we clearly see his motivation and reasoning behind his actions.

This is an excellent book, an amazing character study and an in depth look into the heart of a man whose mind has been warped by his life.

Five Golden Acorns!
© Dellani Oakes