The Secret of Four Notch

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
175 Pages
Reviewed on 07/30/2022
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Author Biography

Tracy’s interest in writing and illustrating for children began in high school when he wrote and illustrated several picture books to fulfill English composition assignments. In the 1990’s he began illustrating for textbook publishers and has worked for Harcourt Brace, National Geographic, Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic and Savvas Learning Company, among others. He wrote, illustrated and paper-engineered “A Visit to the North Pole” in 1993. In 2006, he illustrated the New York Times bestselling popup book, “Castle” with text and paper-engineering by Kyle Olmon. Since 2015, Tracy has been writing and illustrating books under the imprint, "Thar She Blows Books." Titles include “Mouse Builds a House,” “Nothing to Do!” and “Nobbin, Bobbin & Cobb - A Refugee Story.” “This Is Our Ocean - The Dream of Clean Seas” won SCBWI’s 2019 Spark Award for excellence in independently published picture books. "The Secret of Four Notch,” a middle grade historical/time-travel novel, is his most recent release.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Secret of Four Notch by Tracy Sabin is a kids’ fantasy story. Danny is all set for his summer adventures with his friends until his parents uproot him and they move to Washington State, a town where they don’t know anyone. Danny can’t handle losing his friends and moving to such a middle-of-nowhere place, but then he meets Kip Yotter. Kips shows Danny around but when they meet Mr. Wolf, they learn of a strange place called Four Notch, a secret place where time is not what it seems. Danny decides to run away but finds himself stuck in a place a long time ago. Can he get back to his own time? And what will he learn as he tries to get back?

The Secret of Four Notch by Tracy Sabin is more than just a kids’ fantasy story. It’s a tale of personal growth, learning to accept change, the effects development has on the environment, and much more. It is a page-turner and makes for an engrossing read as Tracy Sabin skillfully moves from one era to another, giving us an insight into life at the time. The characters are great, well-developed, and very likable, with clear, engaging dialog that flows well. This story also teaches kids about the struggles of growing up, how to deal with change, and how not to fly off the handle whenever something doesn’t go your way. It’s about navigating the minefield of life as you transition from child to adult and there are some pretty valuable lessons to be learned. This is an enjoyable story, and Tracy’s writing style draws clear images in your mind, allowing you to feel part of the story. Highly recommended reading.