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Reviewed by Lela Buchanan for Readers' Favorite
When eleven year old Preston Carter Potsdam, a rich kid from the east, arrives in Nebraska, the lifestyle is so different that he feels as if he has landed on another planet. Befriended by Steve, a confident and outgoing fellow student, "Potsie" as he is quickly nicknamed, is drawn into a healthy circle of friendship that, along with Steve also includes Peter, a young man who is a computer whiz, but unfortunately confined to a wheelchair and unable to breathe without a ventilator. The boys are assigned a big project by Mr. Sadler, their Social Studies teacher, which must be completed over winter break. Potsie travels with Steve to Steve's grandmother's house for five days to work on their research project--a study of a fort built over 200 years ago during the Lewis and Clark expedition. While Peter works on the computer research at home, Steve and Potsie do some physical exploration, uncovering some exciting secrets and meeting a mystical being, who is of key importance to the story.
"Potsie and the Apparition of Brave Wolf" offers the reader the thrill of adventure, a bit of American history, and some paranormal excitement. More importantly, though, Pirnot subtly demonstrates how love, respect, and acceptance can erode many barriers--barriers of social status, physical deficiencies, emotional deprivation, and even race. Potsie "grows" though his exposure to Steve, Steve's colorful grandmother, Peter, and Peter's African-American aide, Kasem. Seeing Steve's grandmother selflessly investing in others has a profound effect on Potsie. "I vowed right then and there to take another look at my options in life." Without being preachy, there are a plethora of wise insights scattered throughout this lovely book, an enjoyable read for anyone.