Ember of the Woods

Children - Grade 4th-6th
134 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2024
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Author Biography

Christene's love for storytelling is deeply rooted in her experiences, both personal and professional. Growing up in the Midwest, she developed a profound appreciation for nature and the outdoors. This love only deepened when she and her husband purchased a cabin in the Northwoods of Minnesota, a place that would become not just a retreat but a wellspring of inspiration for her writing.

Before pursuing writing full-time, Christene dedicated over two decades to the field of education, working as both a special education teacher and a district administrator. Her work with students, particularly those with special needs, has left an indelible mark on her writing, infusing it with empathy, understanding, and a keen insight into the human experience.

Her writing is about connection. Through her characters, she explores the complexities of human relationships, delving into the bonds that tie us together and the emotions that drive us apart. Her characters are nuanced and relatable, each with their own struggles and triumphs, making them resonate with readers on a deep, emotional level.

Outside of writing, Christene's love for the outdoors is evident in her hobbies. She enjoys camping, hiking, and kayaking, finding solace and inspiration in the beauty of the natural world. She's an avid artist and sees beauty in creating. She cherishes time spent with her family, including her husband, children, and pets, who have been her steadfast companions on her writing journey.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shawna L. Thompson for Readers' Favorite

Birdie and her father moved to Fenske Lake in Minnesota to start a new chapter in their lives in Ember of the Woods by Christene Kamberis. Upon arriving at their cabin, they realized it wasn't what they had expected, and Birdie was devastated. She missed her old life, her friends, and the city. The cabin had no electricity, no internet or cell phone connection, and barely had running water. As a result, she was worried about how she, a twelve-year-old girl, would survive in such a place. Birdie, feeling isolated and sad, stumbles upon a book, which she set aside for later, unaware of how it would change her life. Her mother wrote a book as a child that holds the key to her healing. As Birdie reads about her mother's fond memories of the cabin and the surrounding area, Birdie starts to wonder if she can find happiness in her new town and if she can find it in her heart to forgive her father.

Christene Kamberis has written a poignant story about losing a mother and a wife. Set in a small town in Minnesota, Ember of the Woods introduces us to characters like Birdie and Jake, whose journey will resonate and evoke empathy in readers of all ages. Christene has masterfully explored universal themes of heartache, resilience, and conquering fears. This poignant tale is a valuable addition to school and home libraries, offering a unique perspective on coping with loss. Birdie's journey, as she navigates her grief and finds her path to healing, is a powerful reminder that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, instilling a sense of hope in readers. The book's potential as a resource for counselors working with children who have experienced loss is clear, offering a relatable and insightful narrative that can aid in their therapeutic work.