Below is a roundup of some recent reviews from around the web.
Reviews are so important for authors. I recently had a couple of one and two star reviews on Amazon. No big deal–not an emergency–but the positive reviews do help. If you enjoyed either book and haven’t left a review on Amazon, please consider doing it now for The Green Ember, and/or The Black Star of Kingston. It takes only a few minutes and, even if it’s very brief, it really does help a lot.
Most of these are from “Year End” lists. I feel honored that The Green Ember was included on many lists and that Black Star got a few mentions as well. Thank you to everyone who has shared my books. It means so much to me.
The first was very touching to read. Thank you Joshua Hutchins, for this. The review is short, but I’ll include just a small part.
There were moments when the beauty of the story brought me to tears. When my girls would ask me why I was crying, I said, “One day you are going to reread this book when you are older, and you will see how beautiful it is.”
This was a very kind review from Deana Wood. An outtake:
Don’t even get me started! Quite possibly my favorite book of the year, overall. This one is a real page turner. My kids beg me for “just one more chapter” every day.
I have to be honest: I was skeptical of this one because there was so much hype when it came out, in part because S.D. Smith is a homeschool dad and popular blogger. The noncomformist, maverick side of my personality didn’t want to become a follower and pick it up just because everyone else was, so I held off for a long time.
However, I did finally add it to our collection in the fall, and when I started reading it one afternoon after my 9-year-old left it sitting on the couch, I was immediately hooked. It’s a captivating story of two rabbits who set out on an unexpected adventure and discover what courage, honor and love really mean.
I laughed, and was taken aback, seeing this. See, I’m afraid I have that same attitude. Often, when “everyone’s” talking about something, I just check out on it. Kind of pathetic, but true. Less true than in the past, but still true. (For instance, I still haven’t seen The Passion of the Christ, largely because about a thousand of my fellow Christians told me I HAD to see it.) Anyway it was super weird to be, even in a very small way, on the receiving end of that sentiment. MY book was hyped? What!? By who? That is surreal, man. I still think of The Green Ember as a plucky underdog, fighting against the odds to be noticed, so it’s weird to see someone say that it was, “so hyped.” But then I realized that she was talking about readers. Likely other families of readers like ours, who loved and shared the book. Crazy! But thanks for giving it a shot, Mandi.
And speaking of underdogs, li’l brudder Black Star gets some attention in this brief review from Eric Wearne. But he praises Ember very generously.
[This is a] prequel to The Green Ember, which I think will end up being a classic. Still working through this one too, but I am happy. I hope this series keeps going and going.
Thanks, Eric! Me too.
And this from Tiffany Malloy, who appears to have been spared the boring parts. 🙂
Jake would read ahead every night because it was that good :). The kids were always eager to listen and begged for “one more chapter, Daddy!”
I still love hearing that. Thanks, Jake and the Malloys all.
Jamie at the Unlikely Homeschool shares a very generous paragraph about Ember.
S. D. Smith has somehow figured out how to write a new book with an old soul. In a fantastical Narnia-esque way, he has woven big bold truth into the kind of innocent and virtuous story that is usually only found in books from yesteryear. My daughter loved this book so much, that as soon as we turned the final page, she immediately read its prequel, The Black Star of Kingston.
Thank you, Jamie. I’m so delighted to hear you enjoyed it!
I always appreciate a shout for the audiobooks. My friend Todd pointed to this appearance of Ember in a list of “21 of the Best Audiobooks for Kids” from Fractus Learning.
The Green Ember is a relatively new but hugely popular one of our audio books for kids.
Powerful! I don’t normally like books with animal characters but this was epic and I didn’t really notice or care that the characters were rabbits. It felt mythological — I highly recommend it!
Thank you, Melissa!
And thanks to everyone who has shared kind reviews in the past, or plan to. It helps so much.
And let me know if I missed your review.