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Reviewed by Soumya Sreehari for Readers' Favorite
Club Fed by Stephen Arrington is the story of finding a purpose. Jake, Raoul, Walt, Clayton, and Jessie are an unusual bunch. They meet at a minimum-security prison camp. They are randomly chosen and put together as the inmate fire crew for the town of Boron. As they settle into their peculiar job, they become a band of brothers. Their diverse skill set makes them a strong fire-fighting team. They restore a beautiful, pre-World-War-II era La France fire truck. Their firefighting adventures make them a subject of curiosity for the town and a subject of envy for a rival volunteer firefighting team. Along with a friendly corrections officer, Cindy, they go around town saving lives. During the journey, they find meaning and purpose in their own lives.
Club Fed is a fictional story aimed at inspiring young adults. Stephen Arrington derives inspiration from his own life experiences in building the story and characters. The plot and premise are set in an unconventional scenario. The main characters, with all their flaws, are extremely likable. The attention to detail with the locations, the engineering, and the process of fire rescue teams is brilliant. I greatly enjoyed the adventures of Engine Company 52. The good guys, the bad guys, the jealous guys, the clash of emotions – Club Fed has it all. For me, the appeal of the story was in the triumph of the underdog. I especially admired the beautiful sketch illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. For a heart-warming and uplifting story of adventure, pick up Club Fed.