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Reviewed by Melinda Facal for Readers' Favorite
Crossing the Meadow is a compelling coming-of-age story by Christopher D. Wayland. Chip McArcher is a ten-year-old boy facing the challenges of adolescence while mourning the recent loss of his beloved dog. One day while out in the meadow near his home, two bullies confront Chip and dare him to cross the meadow alone at night without a flashlight. Chip is understandably frightened by this proposal and wrestles with what he should do and with whom he could talk about this predicament. During this difficult time, Chip’s emotions run high, creating drama and some comical scenarios as Chip imagines what dangers he may encounter in the dark meadow. Amid this internal struggle, Chip befriends Gwendolyn, a girl his age who is dealing with troubles of her own. Anticipation and excitement build as readers journey along with Chip in this tale of discovery and growing up.
In Crossing the Meadow, Christopher D. Wayland skillfully captures the challenges and concerns that come with maturing and learning to navigate life on your terms. Chip’s lively imagination creates many interesting and entertaining moments. Chip and Gwendolyn are endearing and likable characters. Readers will be captivated by the detailed and relatable struggles that both Chip and Gwen experience as their friendship blossoms. The realistic portrayal of the bullies involved highlights the very real dilemma that Chip is forced to grapple with. Vivid descriptions of the landscape easily help the reader feel that they are part of this absorbing story. Chip and Gwen’s trials highlight the daunting and complex emotions and situations that adolescents and teens face. This is a highly recommended and intriguing read.