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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Benjamin's Field: Ascent (Benjamin's Field Trilogy Book 2) by J.J. Knights is a young adult story that starts with Jeremy Kyner as a teenager. Because of his clubfoot, he is being bullied by a teacher who wants to have him institutionalized. Many people come to Jeremy's aid against his teacher, including Jeremy's grandfather, his hired hand, a Catholic priest, a Jewish blacksmith, a girl full of courage, a misfit, and a class bully. When the teacher's plans fall apart, she reveals her own dark secret. Around the same time, Randy Bridgewater appears on the scene. Randy is Jeremy's war hero and his deceased father's long lost friend. When he steps out of the past, he brings with him a surprising twist that propels the story into book three and the dramatic conclusion of this intense trilogy.
Ascent is a unique young adult book in the fact that it is the second book of a trilogy that spans 60 years of one family's history. This family saga is full of love, loss, and life lessons that encompass the themes of family loyalty versus individual need, personal liberty, society's expectations, religious prejudice, racism, intolerance, charity, and forgiveness. It is the type of story that will make you laugh on one page and cry on the next. It will stay with you long after you've moved on and read the last page. It is one of those stories I will be thinking about for a long time.