Racer, the talking squirrel, is back.
I never imagined I would get attached to a talking squirrel, but I did.
Racer. Once called Gray, is one of the leading characters of Martha Jane Orlando’s Glade series, three children’s books: A Trip, A Tryst, and a Terror; Children in the Garden; and The Moment of Truth. That series began with a boy, Davy Murray, still mourning the death of his military father and resenting his mother Sarah’s remarriage to Jim, facing the prospect of an awful summer away from friends and his computer, “imprisoned” in Jim’s father’s rural home. He’s discovered by Gray, a talking squirrel no one else can see, who lives in the nearby forest with the other “Old Ones” – animals that talk and do other wondrous things.
The focus of the stories was Davy – a special kid, a “chosen one” who is the only human who can see the Old Ones.
Revenge! (Adventures in the Glade) picks up where the trilogy left off – returning home after a celebration in The Glade in the forest for Davy, his family, and all of the Old Ones. What was being celebrating was the upending of plans by Jim’s cousin Ronnie to bulldoze the forest and replace it with homes.
|Martha Jane Orlando|
Racer isn’t the only one who’s back. So is Cousin Ronnie. You can’t keep a good villain down. Ronnie, suspecting that animals helped Jim and his family stop his plans, takes his two sons into the forest for some mindless hunting – firing at will with aiming at anything in particular. And then things get really interesting, and dangerous.
I love these stories. They’re good in their own right, something any child would enjoy, but they are also quietly filled with Biblical imagery. They are about grace, and redemption, and about the giving of one’s life so that others might live.
My only complaint is that Orlando brings the story to a fever pitch – and then leave me wanting more. I have to wait until the second volume is published in May.
But Racer is back!
Photograph by Larisa Koshkina via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.