Jaspa's Journey 4: The Hermit of Kennecott


Children - Preteen
373 Pages
Reviewed on 10/04/2020
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Author Biography

Rich Meyrick earned an award-winning PhD in Environmental Change from the University of Cambridge (UK), after which he spent four years as a Department Head with the prestigious Senckenberg Institute in Weimar (Germany). So naturally, when he married Sue and moved to Canada in 2004, he began writing fiction for middle graders.

In truth, this was less of a leap than it might first appear. Rich’s Jaspa’s Journey series is something of a rarity among middle grade adventure novels, since the action takes place in the real world and is woven through with all sorts of fascinating geographical, historical and environmental details. In short, while most of the main characters are straight out of Rich’s imagination, everything else is real, explaining how Jaspa’s Journey has won awards in both fiction and educational categories.

In body, Rich now lives in Ontario with Sue and their dogs. But in mind, he spends his days exploring the planet with Jaspa. It’s a Journey he hopes will continue for many years to come.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Hermit of Kennecott is an engaging fourth entry in the Jaspa's Journey series by Rich Meyrick, well-crafted for young readers and fans of adventure. The story follows Jaspa and his friends—Sam McRae and her brother Ben, Bisckits, Portia, and Gravee—on their Alaskan adventure. But when one of them gets infected by the mysterious flu, they find themselves racing against time for a cure. Their search brings them to an abandoned ghost town. Their only hope is that the elusive Hermit who inhabits the town might have the cure.

The Hermit of Kennecott is a beautiful story filled with humor. It opens with strong imagery when Jaspa is awakened by a fearful cry in the decaying ruins of a derelict peak, high above a ghost town in one of the remotest corners of Alaska. The characters are introduced immediately and, slowly, the conflict that forms the backbone of the story begins to take shape. Their experience of the mysterious flu is the turning point in the story. I enjoyed the crisp writing and the dialogues that are real and natural, and I particularly enjoyed the way Gravee, the Scottish one, speaks. It was fun following these characters that I cared about, and the author did a wonderful job in writing the relationship between the characters. Gravee was my most favorite and he stood out in many ways. The Hermit of Kennecott is suspenseful, a tale of adventure and mystery that explores the friendship between interesting young characters as they navigate a world filled with danger.