Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
303 Pages
Reviewed on 03/15/2015
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    Book Review

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.

Jack Magnus

Hideaway is a contemporary fantasy for children and preteens written by Gregory Pshide. There's a special tent in The Drake Travelling Circus, and it's called the Hideaway. It's for the four circus members who are orphaned children. Each of them is apprenticed to learn a skill to become a part of the circus and, when their chores and lessons are done, they meet and spend time in Hideaway. Theloneus Drake, the ringmaster and circus owner, has a special interest in these children. One evening, he brings a fifth child into their circle; his name is Nat and he's 10, a little younger than the rest of them. The others giggle at his over-sized clown shoes which he forgot to remove. Drake gives each of the children a gift, something quite special, which they cannot show or discuss with anyone except each other.

Gregory Pshide's contemporary fantasy, Hideaway, was written for children and preteens, but I soon found myself enchanted by Drake's Travelling Circus and working along with the children to figure out their gifts and how to use them. I loved the 1930s setting and the feeling I got experiencing how those travelling circuses put a bit of excitement in the ordinary lives of townspeople across the country. Pshide's characters are marvelous, especially Drake and his confidant, Hossiah Bartholomew Frost. The five kids are a treat to watch as they train in their circus careers and work together to learn about their gifts. There's also a lot to think about in Hideaway, about having confidence and strength in your convictions, about diversity, and about growing up. Hideaway is magical and inspirational, and it's most highly recommended.

Lit Amri

Hideaway by Gregory Pshide is a wonderful story about a group of orphaned kids who are apprentices at a travelling circus. Characters include Sydney Dyle, the fortune teller, Carlos Ferrante, the acrobat, Annie Devlin, the animal trainer, Augustus “Auggie” Haven, the magician, and Nathaniel “Nat” Case, the clown. Thelonius Drake, ringmaster and owner of The Drake Traveling Circus, has provided them with a special tent known as Hideaway.

Each child has a unique gift. Sydney really is a fortune teller. However, her visions are expressed through gibberish talk, which only Nat can interpret. Carlos is able to move things, Annie can talk to the animals, and Auggie can make things disappear. Yet their gifts are still in their infancy and don't work most of the time. My favorite character would be Nat. Even though in the beginning he seems to be less interesting than the other gifted children, it is as if he is the missing puzzle that completes the group.

In this story set in the 1930s, Pshide has come up with an excellent concept for Hideaway’s world. The bizarre yet fascinating environs of the circus definitely suit the story. Told in short chapters, Hideaway is easily a fast paced, engaging read. On the whole, Hideaway is absolutely worth the read if you’re looking for a new, great classic. It certainly has depth and thought. Pshide’s narration is boosted by solid descriptive prose. The transition of events is flawless – I truly enjoyed reading and following the characters’ journeys and personal growth.