Little Wade and Watchtower

Abigail and the Great Gang Trap

Children - Preteen
384 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap by Sean March is a fascinating adventure for children and pre-teens. The year is 1899, and little Abigail is the new kid on the block--a transplant from her old home in the country to her new home in New York City. She is a young girl who, like many then and now, doesn't have it easy. Fever took her mother's life, and her father is over-worked with having multiple jobs. Abigail wants to go to school, but there is a dangerous gang called the Longshadows that have trapped her, with no way out. That's when renowned Little Wade and Watchtower enter the picture, entities that have protected children in New York City for almost a century. Abigail and the two put their heads together and come up with a plan to trap the gangsters and put an end to their iron-fist reign once and for all. The lives of her loved ones are in danger. Abigail is a smart, tenacious girl who will stop at nothing to turn things around. At one point she passes as a boy to get by safely.

This is the perfect book for young readers to lose themselves in. The story is relatable as it features a main character with problems that some readers will recognize and bond with. March has a creative way with phrasing and descriptions that appeal to the senses. He makes you feel as though you're walking along the cobblestone streets of New York City with the characters. There is a little darkness in the story, but a lot of light and the threads of friendship and hope sew it all together. If you like stories of characters overcoming obstacles and outwitting dark forces, this is a must-read. Abigail finds strength within herself with help from Little Wade and Watchtower, and I like it when she realizes she doesn't have to face things alone.

The author's pacing is just right for young readers to latch onto a lengthy novel. There is a lot to unpack in the story--some science, history, the supernatural, even some steampunk elements. But it goes by quickly, and immersing yourself in this book and in these characters is a lot of fun. Some of the fanciful occurrences are enticing to the imagination. I gladly recommend this to young readers, schools, libraries, or just anyone looking for a fun read with a lot of heart. Fans of Neil Gaiman will gobble up Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap by Sean March.

Michelle Stanley

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.” - Edgar Allan Poe. Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap is a fantasy for preteens by Sean March. Abigail hates relocating to New York where most people seem unfriendly. Her misery worsens when chased by ruthless Longshadow gangsters who torment her. A boy named Little Wade who flies and a metal giant named Watchtower come to her rescue, which infuriates the bullies. Abigail and her new friends devise a plan to remove the Longshadows from her neighborhood. Although scared, she feels confident that Little Wade and Watchtower will make her feel safe again, and is determined to show how brave she can be. But the Longshadows want revenge and losing fights is not what they are accustomed to.

“There’s a legend for children who are sad and who cry,” and it’s written by Sean March. He will make unhappy children smile again when they read Little Wade and Watchtower. It’s a delightful, exceptional story that contains its fair share of sadness, but lots of humor too. The setting is in New York, 1899 with an old-world charm infused with magic, and lots of interesting action. The characters are amazing, even the creepy ones. Abigail is sweet and very smart. Little Wade and Watchtower are friends you will want to have. Sean March's descriptions of the characters, especially the gangsters, made me laugh. The cover artwork complements the story very well. Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap is a must-read for preteens who enjoy fantasy stories like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

K.C. Finn

Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap is a work of fiction in the adventure, action, and fantasy sub-genres aimed at children and pre-teens and was penned by author Sean March. The book tells the story of a young girl named Abigail Reid living in New York in the closing months of the 19th century as she tries to adjust to her new city life after a tragic loss in her family. As she and her father face a growing threat from a local gang, Abigail discovers new otherworldly friends in the form of Little Wade and Watchtower, and together they craft a risky plan to stop the gang from threatening her once and for all.

Author Sean March has created a beautiful story with a truly timeless quality to it, thanks to its historical setting, classic themes of friendship, and the emotional heart of the tale. One of the things which I really enjoyed about the work was the commitment put into the formation of character, not just in Abigail and her curious new friends, but into the world around her and the motivations of everyone involved. This gave the work a realistic feel that keeps it grounded despite the fantasy elements, and offers tension and danger that will certainly help younger readers stay engaged and excited. The dialogue was also excellently balanced for the historical period, but also for the young readership to access. Overall, I would recommend Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap for middle-grade readers and upwards as a highly charming adventure.

Debjani Ghosh

Abigail and her father have moved to New York City from the country. Still reeling from her mother's death, all she wants is to go to school and read books. But her neighborhood is unsafe. One evening, while walking home from school, the Longshadows, the ruthless gang in her neighborhood, try to kidnap her. Just when she thinks she is all alone, a boy and a very tall man help her. But the boy is not an ordinary boy, neither is the tall man just any tall man. Read Little Wade and the Watchtower by Sean March to discover who they are, and how they help Abigail.

Sean March's Little Wade and the Watchtower is an excellent middle-grade story that has elements of steampunk, magic, ghosts, and historical fiction. It has incredibly detailed world-building and vivid descriptions that bring to life the antics of Abigail, Little Wade, and Watchtower. I was sucked into the New York City of 1899 with its bustling towns, people, and carriages thronging the roads, and squalid neighborhoods rife with gang wars and vicious activities.

March crafts an original and entertaining story replete with three-dimensional characters. He has a rich imagination that translates into an enchanting tale in the form of Little Wade and the Watchtower. Moreover, the book is highly adventurous. Though the book is lengthy, the brisk pace helped me in finishing the book swiftly. Further, little nuggets of wisdom are tucked here and there in the text, instilling a message of hope in its readers. It was an exhilarating ride from start to finish. Little Wade and the Watchtower enraptured me. Highly recommended for a middle-grade as well as young adult audience.

Lit Amri

“There’s a legend about heroes only children can see. About a wise little boy whose advice costs no fee. About a fire-faced soldier as tall as a tree. They will never stop fighting to set all children free.” Abigail Reid was almost kidnapped by the Longshadows-a notorious gang in New York City-when Little Wade and Watchtower came to her rescue. She becomes the ghost boy and the metal giant’s latest client to solve her problem with the gang and ensure her safety in the city. Yet, she soon finds out that the gang is not the only threat she and other children have to face. Abigail and the Great Gang Trap is the first installment in the Little Wade and Watchtower series by Sean March.

Set in 1899, the Big Apple has never been more fascinating, especially when 13-year-old red-headed Abigail Reid acquired the services of Little Wade and Watchtower, protectors of the city's children since 1831. The steady-paced plot has many suspenseful and chilling moments in a clear-cut and engaging narrative. It's easy to root for Abigail, a newcomer to the city, who's homesick and misses her late mother. Little Wade-a wise ghost boy who's been dead for 68 years-encourages her to see and discover the good side of the city and its people while teaching her to be street smart at the same time. The mysterious metal giant, Watchtower, is a magnificent protector that anybody would've wanted, especially children.

As Abigail’s unlikely adventure progresses, she discovers more secrets of the city and its extraordinary people, dead and alive, as well as her confrontation with terrifying adversaries. The suspense increases with each development, all converging toward a conclusion that includes a resolution for her and her father, including what lies ahead in the next installment. Gangsters, ghosts, crimes, and mysteries, Abigail and the Great Gang Trap is a dark but uplifting supernatural fantasy for its target readers and a solid debut for Sean March's Little Wade and Watchtower series.