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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Tracks is a coming of age/adventure novel for young adults and preteens written and illustrated by R.W. Thompson. Billy lived for the summers he spent at his grandparents’ place in the Maine woods. He and his parents had always gone up there for their summer vacations. After his mom died two years ago, Billy and his dad began spending their entire summers with his grandparents. Billy still missed his mom so much and knew his dad did as well, but while that sadness stayed in his heart, his joy in spending the summer with his grandparents and dad seemed to only grow deeper with each passing year. Billy’s grandfather knew just about everything about the woods as he had been a Maine guide for many years, and he was passing down all his woodlore to his grandson. Billy was eleven years old this summer, and something he discovered one morning would change his life dramatically!
Tracks is listed as a novel for young adults; however, anyone who loves nature stories and tales filled with action and adventure will find themselves as drawn to this novel as I was. I loved seeing how Billy’s discovery of that track leads to his coming of age with the help of his dad, grandpa, and William Palewolf, the Abenaki man who saved Billy’s dad from a chance encounter with a cougar when they were both young. R.W. Thompson’s plot is well-constructed and compelling; his descriptions of the wild places in Maine ring true and his characters are authentic and well-defined. I found I was unable to put this book down until I had turned the last page as Thompson maintains the action and suspense throughout. Tracks is a grand adventure read whatever your age, and it’s a lot of fun to boot. It’s most highly recommended.