The Green Ember may be classified as a children's book, but its appeal is certainly universal. It's a fantastic read for the entire family to enjoy, and Smith makes his chapter lengths perfect for bedtime reading.
The Green Ember
Author: S.D. Smith
Illustrator: Zach Franzen
Publisher: Story Warren (www.storywarren.com)
In today's world, it's hard to find variety in children's literature. Once a book series becomes popular, as in the case of Harry Potter, publishers rush to sign deals with other authors writing similar stories in hopes of striking the same gold. The current trend in youth fiction is tales of dystopian worlds, embodied by successful series such as The Hunger Games and the Divergent series.
In the midst of all this, author S.D. Smith has contributed his own work that eschews the popular trends and embraces fantasy worlds similar to those envisioned by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Considering that his cast of characters consists mostly of rabbits, one can definitely see an influence of Brian Jaques' Redwall series as well.
The story begins with sibling rabbits, Heather and Picket, living an idyllic life in an elm tree with their parents and baby brother. A surprise visit from a pack of homicidal wolves throws their lives into turmoil, sending them on an adventure that will test their limits in every possible way: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To describe the plot any further would prevent the reader from enjoying the masterful way that Smith unfolds his story.
One of the greatest joys of The Green Ember is the fact that we, the readers, are limited to the same point of view as Heather and Picket. Their ignorance is ours, and Smith uses that to his advantage, slowly revealing the story's truths and creating a compelling narrative that keeps one turning the page. By the time the mystery of The Green Ember is revealed, the reader is completely and emotionally invested in the characters and can't help but follow them to the end of the book to see what happens.
Smith is a believer (Full Disclosure: I don't know him personally, but his wife was a few years behind me in high school), and while The Green Ember is not an overtly Christian story, Smith's faith appears in many subtle ways, particularly in the way the rabbits lament their fallen "Great Wood" and look forward to the "Mended Wood."
The Green Ember may be classified as a children's book, but its appeal is certainly universal. It is a fantastic read for the entire family to enjoy, and Smith makes his chapter lengths perfect for bedtime reading. It's obvious by the book's end that there is more of this story to be told, but in the meantime, anyone would be remiss not to immerse themselves in this intriguing world that Smith has created.
The Green Ember is available at Amazon.com (affilliate link) or directly from the publisher.