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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Ancient Sacred Tree: Birthing a Hero is a mythological adventure fantasy novel for children and young adults written by Dawnette Brenner. Joshua’s mom and dad were getting divorced. It was absolutely the worst news he could ever imagine receiving, and what made it even harder to bear was that he was convinced that it was his fault. His brother and sisters hadn’t seemed to notice how much their parents had been arguing lately, but Joshua, being the youngest, had, and he found escaping into fantasy worlds had helped him cope with the anger and anxiety he felt building up within him. Joshua had gotten more control over his anger lately, even if kids at school knew exactly which buttons to push, but Terrence was another matter entirely. The two of them seemed to set each other off without even doing anything. Joshua’s mom had helped him discover the causes for his anger. He was bipolar, like his dad. He could be happy and suddenly get set off in the opposite direction. Escaping into fantasy worlds helped a lot, but when he slipped in some ice plants on his way to school that morning, Joshua found himself in a world that only he could save.
Dawnette Brenner’s mythological adventure fantasy novel for children and young adults, The Ancient Sacred Tree: Birthing a Hero, is a fast-paced and exciting story that deftly merges fantasy and reality. Joshua is the consummate hero; he has his flaws and foibles, but he has the courage and heroic inclinations that allow him to get past his own issues and work to save the inhabitants of the Land of the Ice Plants. Brenner’s plot also admirably addresses both the issue of divorce and its impact on children, and the difficulties kids with bipolar disorder face in coping with everyday life. The Ancient Sacred Tree has a grand plot, and it is beautifully written. Brenner’s characters are sharply delineated, and her fantasy world works very well indeed. The Ancient Sacred Tree: Birthing a Hero is most highly recommended.