Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Young Adult -

Geral­dine Mills, Lit­tle Is­land Books Soft­cover $11.99 (256pp), 978-1-910411-55-1

For mid­dle-grade read­ers, Geral­dine Mills’s Gold is an ad­ven­tur­ous postapoc­a­lyp­tic novel about two broth­ers dis­cov­er­ing the world around them—and by ex­ten­sion, their own past.

Twin broth­ers Starn and Esper live in a world cov­ered with vol­canic ash. Their fa­ther leaves them by day to work, while an ill­ness has claimed their mother and sis­ter. Left alone by day, the boys amuse them­selves in the house, know­ing they can­not go out­side in the cold, sun­less world that sur­rounds them. But one day, the boys break into a for­bid­den room and there find se­crets about their fam­ily and their past that set them on an adventure to for­bid­den lands and im­pos­si­ble prom­ises.

The world in Gold is rich and com­plex, and the boys dis­cover its com­pli­cated his­tory over the course of the story, learn­ing more about a time they re­fer to as “be­fore the Ash.” As they do, they learn more about their own fam­ily as well, and about what it takes to re­build the lives and land around them. The rid­dle at the heart of the novel is the trea­sure that the boys seek, the prom­ise of which set them off on an adventure that would lead to sur­pris­ing con­se­quences about what to value in their postapoc­a­lyp­tic world.

Gold is a fast-paced mid­dle-grade adventure novel set in a world that is still pick­ing up its pieces—leav­ing plenty of room for Starn and Esper to make a dif­fer­ence. The sim­ple, present-tense prose be­lies a stark, well-drawn-out land that would be per­fect for younger read­ers in­trigued by quest nov­els.

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