S.D. Smith’s ‘The Green Ember’

Tales of Adventure and Mysterious Journeys

Photo: Courtesy Green Ember

S.D. Smith’s fantasy novel is a wonderful read for young children who enjoy tales of adventure and mysterious journeys. It is beautifully written, and adults looking for chapter books to read aloud with their children will surely enjoy experiencing this book as well.

It takes place in a world of animals on the brink of war. Heather and Picket are rabbit siblings that are forced to leave their comfortable lives to embark on a harrowing journey. These young rabbits were raised on stories of adventure, and they suddenly find themselves in the middle of one. There are fallen kings, hope for new princes, rabbits bearing swords, terrifying wolves, found family, and lost family.

What unfolds will encourage self-belief for many a young reader. The settings of serene meadows, terrifying woods, and strange and beautiful burrows are depicted in a way that make you feel part of the wonder the rabbit narrators are experiencing. If you like Brian Jacques’s Redwall series, you will surely like this.

For children not yet ready to read Redwall, this book may be a gentle introduction to animals living out medieval times, what with its narrators being children themselves. Readers will find wonderful, inspiring quotes and some hilarious ones that may well make it into their own worldviews, such as “Too little salt is an insult and too much salt is an assault.”

If you finish the book and find yourself wanting more, just look for the sequel, Ember Falls, which follows Heather and Picket into the next part of their tale.

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