The Pigeon Chronicles

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
199 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stephen Torelli, a U.S. Army Veteran and former paratrooper grew up in Newburgh, New York within the historic Mid-Hudson Valley. Surrounded by remnants of Colonial History, such as George Washington and Henry Knox Headquarters, West Point Military Academy, and the Hudson River, Stephen learned to appreciate this distinct era. While attending Liberty Street grammar school, located a few blocks from Washington's residence during the last years of the American Revolution, Stephen, at every turn visited Hasbrouck House.
Not only surrounded by Colonial History, Newburgh had many billiard parlors and pigeon racers where Stephen, during his younger days encountered several enterprising people, go-getters to say the least where he learned that even pool hustlers and gamblers have a code of conduct.
Stephen Torelli has a Bachelor in History and a Master in English. He writes and resides in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, teaches Citizenship to inner city kids, shoots pool on occasion, loves cooking and travels every chance he gets with his lovely wife, Lory.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

Thomas ‘Pigeon Pete’ Turner is almost an average 16-year-old, at least until he accidentally steals a time travel machine from the Pentagon in The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli. The nickname is the result of Tom’s love of racing pigeons with his grandfather, Pete Costa, and eventually changes to ‘Little Pete.’ While at a picnic event on Pentagon grounds, Pete spies what he thinks is his grandfather’s flock of pigeons and, when he investigates, he falls into a secret bunker, right into the time machine. Thinking he would like to take advantage of it to follow through on another activity he would love to do, playing billiards with George Washington, Pete flies to 1748. In this time period, Pete encounters Nate Teach, the son of the famous pirate, Blackbeard, a beautiful girl, plenty of scoundrels, and a whole host of intriguing characters. The really strange part, though, is that he recognizes a bird which is able to carry letters through time. Returning home after spending some time in the Colonial era, Pete realizes that he loves Mima and wants to live within that period. Pete finds that you can’t always get what you want, but the important lesson is that souls are forever.

The Pigeon Chronicles is so much more than a historical era novel and well worth reading for all of the wonderful things Stephen Torelli has imbued it with. It is a coming of age book as Pete comes to terms with being the kind of person he wants to be. It is also a romance as he and Mima fall in love, but are separated by circumstances. There is also plenty of action and adventure as Pete confronts the land-bound pirate, as well as local bullies who steal and rough up people to get what they want. But most of all, The Pigeon Chronicles is all about love and the spirituality spanning lifetimes of those bound by strong emotions. Throw in the science fiction of time travel machines and modern spy elements and there is something for everyone. An uplifting novel, The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli will warm your heart and should be read more than once for all the gems of wisdom shared by a number of the characters. A truly thought-provoking book filled with hope.

Kathryn Bennett

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli takes us to the life of Little Pete, a 21st century youth from Alexandria, Virginia. Little Pete has a vision of playing pool with a young George Washington and so he manages to get himself to 1748. While on the search for George Washington, he runs into a whole different cast of characters, including a pirate. Pete's life is going to get all the more interesting as the pirate, Nate Teach, decides to try to hustle young Pete for his own purposes.

I love a good time traveling adventure and a bit of alternative history as well. This may be a Young Adult fantasy, but it would be fantastic for any adult who wants to read it. This book is well written and entertaining. Pete is a boy after my own heart; he wants some adventure and the idea of playing pool with George Washington is something that is too good to pass up.

Nothing is ever straightforward in a fantasy, of course, and the road to Washington is peppered with intrigue and interesting adventures. Nate Teach is a formidable character in the story as well, and he is certainly out to play our young hero for everything he can manage. Stephen Torelli has created a fantastic world in which to immerse yourself and truly find some fun in a regular, somewhat boring week. If you want an entertaining and well written fantasy adventure, this is the book for you!

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli is a story of time travel and history. Pete is from 21st century Alexandria in Virginia, but a simple game of pool starts him off on a journey that will take him through time, back to 1748 where he plays pool with George Washington. His journey is not a straightforward one though; he hops back and forth through time, meeting up with Nate Teach, a pirate who tries to hustle Pete at the pool table, and a colonial called Mima Piccola. Taking a wrong turn through time, Pete finds Mima Piccola’s journal, 60 years after she finished writing it, and finds himself moved to tears as he reads how she loved him.

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli was a bit of a strange book to start with, but once I got into it, I found that it flowed well. I love historical tales and, although mixing it with time travel is nothing unique, the pigeons were! In terms of the characters in the book, the historical facts were accurate to their specific time periods and I found it quite easy to slip from one era to another. The characters are well developed, even though we only meet some of them for a short while, and the plot is an interesting one. There was enough action in it to keep the story going, with a few little twists and turns that made it more interesting. Although the book is aimed at the YA audience, I think it would suit older readers as well, especially if they want to while away a couple of hours travelling through time!

Rabia Tanveer

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli is an amalgamation of genres that is at once intriguing and very, very entertaining. It is an interesting mixture of genres that will keep you busy and make you read on until you reach the end. I loved the fact that this novel had a mixture of everything, from action to suspense to romance to fantasy; it had everything and it actually did justice to each and every one of these genres without losing sight of the story and the plot line.

The story is about a young teen named Pete, a smart teen who knows what he wants and what he should do. There is another thing about Pete: he is not a normal boy, in fact, he has a very special gift that he does not hesitate to use. He can time travel, so you can imagine what a curious boy with such power would do: he goes back and forth in time. He loves to sit down and enjoy the company of George Washington while they play pool. During his adventures, he meets a pirate without a ship, but with a lot of purpose, and the very, very beautiful and intriguing Mima Piccola who loves him very dearly. Each character brings something new to the life of this young man and he takes it all and moves forward as best he can.

The Pigeon Chronicles is a story that is written from the heart and this is the reason why you will have no issues feeling connected to Pete. There is something about Pete that makes you like him, maybe because his characterization is very real and we all have a little of Pete inside us. Of course, the mystery, the suspense and the drama revolving around him makes him all the more interesting. I truly enjoyed this novel. Really well-written and developed.

Mamta Madhavan

Readers go back to a bit of American history with Little Pete who is from Alexandra, Virginia in The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli. The story takes us on a journey where we go back in time to 1748 and get to see Little Pete meeting George Washington, Nate, a pirate, and Mima Piccola, a tough spirited colonial beauty. Her 60-year-old journal, which Pete discovers during his time travel, makes him understand the emotions she has towards him. This story of time travel, intrigue, mystery, spirituality, and carrier pigeons keeps readers fascinated with what they can expect ahead, with the help of the pigeons and a young George Washington.

I like the theme; it is fresh, imaginative, and original. Little Pete’s encounter with these three people is interesting and the author achieves that through some clever writing. There is a lot of action that will keep readers fascinated and entertained with Little Pete and his story. The narration is descriptive, making the scenes vivid, and it pulls readers into the story. I like the way Little Pete’s character has been portrayed and the relationship between Little Pete and Mima Piccola highlights the concept of soul mates forever in the story, and makes it tangible to readers. Little Pete’s meeting with George Washington, Nate, Mima Piccola, his knowledge about pigeons (which has earned him the name Pigeon Pete), and his advancement from a streetwise kid to a young hustler shows the author’s creativity and imagination at its best.

Sefina Hawke

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli is a historical event/era fiction novel. This is a book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults, young adults, and children who enjoy historical accuracy and time travel. Little Pete lives in Alexandria, Virginia during the twenty-first century and his life takes him on a time traveling adventure to play pool with George Washington in 1748. However, Pete does not take a straight path - instead he zigzags, meeting a beautiful colonial girl named Mima Piccola, and a pirate known as Nate Teach. A misstep in his time traveling leaves Pete finding the journal of Mima Piccola and discovering the effect he had on her life.

The Pigeon Chronicles by Stephen Torelli is a book geared more towards a younger audience, yet I found myself really enjoying the story as it combined my enjoyment of history with my love of all things to do with time travel. While Pete was definitely the main character of the book and the most developed character, I found Mima Piccola to be my favorite character. I really liked Mima Piccola’s tough spirit and her ability to take care of herself. I liked the fact that she was beautiful, smart, and strong as it was a nice change to have a strong female character in a secondary role. Stephen Torelli did an amazing job in keeping the book historically accurate as far as the personalities of the characters, the setting, and time period went. Overall, the combination of historical accuracy with fictional time travel made for a thrilling read that I greatly enjoyed!