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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Part fantasy, part adventure, part mystery, Hideaway by Gregory Pshide is, quite simply, one of the finest, best written, most engaging and utterly beguiling tales for young readers to come along in many years. Five orphaned children, each with a special ability he or she has yet to fully discover, are brought together by a mysterious but benevolent mentor in the colorful environs of a traveling circus and housed in a magical tent with painted canvas walls that come to life, revealing signs and messages which help the children along their epic journey to gain full awareness and realize their capacity to avert tragedy and manifest goodness in the world. The resulting effect is both thrilling and heartwarming - the children learn the true meaning of friendship, empowerment, teamwork, commitment, and a host of other positive values as they explore their shared destiny.
The magic of the narrative is not only a matter of its unique subject matter but also a product of impeccable storytelling: Hideaway is masterfully plotted, deftly drawn, simply but imaginatively written, and populated with fascinating but authentic characters whose emotions and actions are utterly engrossing. Set in the heart of the Great Depression, when even the most insignificant material possessions have inestimable worth and an “Aw, shucks” world view could still ring true, Hideaway offers the distinct charms and invaluable life lessons born of genuine need and simpler times. Once young readers get their hands on this book, they will have no inclination to put it down, especially since each chapter ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger guaranteed to keep young fingers turning pages. Hideaway isn’t just for kids, either: adults will enjoy the adventure every bit as much as will their children, grandchildren, students, etc. - the content is tailor-made for initiating discussions about life choices, personal accountability, self esteem, and positive values.
It is hard to imagine a more perfectly crafted, genuinely engaging tale for young people than this glorious family-friendly adventure. With all of the magic it contains and just the tiniest bit of good luck, Gregory Pshide’s Hideaway could very well turn out to be a classic of children’s literature, earning a rightful place alongside such beloved authors as Madeleine L’Engel, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Lois Lowry.