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Minnow (Feuilleton non-fiction)

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“Il se retourna pour regarder les arbres qui surplombaient le chemin par où il était venu. Aucun des deux chiens n’était en vue de ce côté-là. Il avança sur le sol de plus en plus meuble et scruta le marécage. Mince silhouette blanche sur fond noir, une aigrette s’envola à quelques centaines de mètres de lui. Hé, Y’a quelqu’un ? dit-il, plus fort. — Qui va là ? demanda une “Il se retourna pour regarder les arbres qui surplombaient le chemin par où il était venu. Aucun des deux chiens n’était en vue de ce côté-là. Il avança sur le sol de plus en plus meuble et scruta le marécage. Mince silhouette blanche sur fond noir, une aigrette s’envola à quelques centaines de mètres de lui. Hé, Y’a quelqu’un ? dit-il, plus fort. — Qui va là ? demanda une voix sourde – une voix qui ne voulait pas porter. — Je m’appelle Minnow. — Qui es-tu ? — Je cherche quelqu’un. — Quoi ? — Je cherche quelqu’un. — Ici, au milieu de nulle part !” En quête d'un médicament pour sauver son père atteint d'une maladie rare, Minnow, jeune garçon originaire de Caroline du Sud, s'aventure pour la première fois sur les longs sentiers humides et labyrinthiques de sa terre natale. Un médecin vaudou, le "docteur Crow", lui a confié une dangereuse mission en échange du remède miracle : rejoindre les lointaines Sea Islands, sur les traces de Sorry George, l'arrière-petit-fils d'un puissant sorcier, un esclave débarqué d'Espagne, tristement connu pour avoir fait succomber à la fièvre cinquante-deux âmes. Minnow, aventurier par la force du destin, va alors tenter le tout pour le tout, et s'enfoncer dans ces marais où se tapissent d'étranges créatures. Et lorsqu'un ouragan échappé de l'océan vient ravager la région, son périple se transforme en une odyssée, un voyage intime et épique dont personne ne ressort indemne. Avec ce premier roman, James E. Mc Teer II nous entraîne au coeur du passé, des fantômes et des légendes qui peuplent les îles et les marais du Deep South. A travers l'errance d'une jeune garçon prêt à tout pour sauver son père, il nous offre une ode à l'enfance et à ses mystères. Une écriture et un monde renversants, à mi-chemin entre Swamplandia de Karen Russell et Les Bêtes du sud sauvage de Benh Zitlin.


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“Il se retourna pour regarder les arbres qui surplombaient le chemin par où il était venu. Aucun des deux chiens n’était en vue de ce côté-là. Il avança sur le sol de plus en plus meuble et scruta le marécage. Mince silhouette blanche sur fond noir, une aigrette s’envola à quelques centaines de mètres de lui. Hé, Y’a quelqu’un ? dit-il, plus fort. — Qui va là ? demanda une “Il se retourna pour regarder les arbres qui surplombaient le chemin par où il était venu. Aucun des deux chiens n’était en vue de ce côté-là. Il avança sur le sol de plus en plus meuble et scruta le marécage. Mince silhouette blanche sur fond noir, une aigrette s’envola à quelques centaines de mètres de lui. Hé, Y’a quelqu’un ? dit-il, plus fort. — Qui va là ? demanda une voix sourde – une voix qui ne voulait pas porter. — Je m’appelle Minnow. — Qui es-tu ? — Je cherche quelqu’un. — Quoi ? — Je cherche quelqu’un. — Ici, au milieu de nulle part !” En quête d'un médicament pour sauver son père atteint d'une maladie rare, Minnow, jeune garçon originaire de Caroline du Sud, s'aventure pour la première fois sur les longs sentiers humides et labyrinthiques de sa terre natale. Un médecin vaudou, le "docteur Crow", lui a confié une dangereuse mission en échange du remède miracle : rejoindre les lointaines Sea Islands, sur les traces de Sorry George, l'arrière-petit-fils d'un puissant sorcier, un esclave débarqué d'Espagne, tristement connu pour avoir fait succomber à la fièvre cinquante-deux âmes. Minnow, aventurier par la force du destin, va alors tenter le tout pour le tout, et s'enfoncer dans ces marais où se tapissent d'étranges créatures. Et lorsqu'un ouragan échappé de l'océan vient ravager la région, son périple se transforme en une odyssée, un voyage intime et épique dont personne ne ressort indemne. Avec ce premier roman, James E. Mc Teer II nous entraîne au coeur du passé, des fantômes et des légendes qui peuplent les îles et les marais du Deep South. A travers l'errance d'une jeune garçon prêt à tout pour sauver son père, il nous offre une ode à l'enfance et à ses mystères. Une écriture et un monde renversants, à mi-chemin entre Swamplandia de Karen Russell et Les Bêtes du sud sauvage de Benh Zitlin.

30 review for Minnow (Feuilleton non-fiction)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I bought this book because it won the South Carolina First Novel Prize (which includes publication by Hub City), it has a beautiful cover, the author was in an MFA program with one of my friend's husbands, and it seemed like the book to buy in South Carolina in 2015. The author was at the SC Book Festival, where I got to hear more about the book and to meet him when he signed my copy. I saved it to read for this past week, since I was staying in Beaufort, home of the author and starting off point I bought this book because it won the South Carolina First Novel Prize (which includes publication by Hub City), it has a beautiful cover, the author was in an MFA program with one of my friend's husbands, and it seemed like the book to buy in South Carolina in 2015. The author was at the SC Book Festival, where I got to hear more about the book and to meet him when he signed my copy. I saved it to read for this past week, since I was staying in Beaufort, home of the author and starting off point for the novel. The main character's father is sick and he goes on a quest through some of the sea islands to meet the right root doctor and find a cure. We were also exploring some of the sea islands so I enjoyed reading about places I had also seen, from the Coffin Point plantation to the beach of the various islands. One graveyard description is a bit fictionalized but really who is counting; the tone suits the book. I'm surprised this isn't being marketed as a YA title, in fact I believe so strongly that this is a YA novel that I've gone ahead and added it to that shelf in my Goodreads account in case it helps someone else. It isn't that I won't read a YA novel but my expectations are different for a YA novel than for an adult literary novel. The language is simple and the character is being challenged in a way similar to the main character in My Side of the Mountain or even the Harry Potter series. Taken in that context it is quite strong, and would teach students of that reading age some of the history of the sea islands and the culture of the Gullah-Geechee people living there. Another little anecdote that I enjoy is that the author is the grandson of the legendary "high sheriff of the low country," James E. McTeer the first. If you visit Beaufort you can't escape hearing about him. They named a bridge after him, a road, and he permeates their history. It's nice that his grandson can put his own name on the area by writing novels (and boy do we ever need a Beaufort author to replace Pat Conroy who will turn 70 in October!)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Minnow is an exceptional story that tells the journey and quest that a young boy in the Lowcountry of South Carolina has to take. It is hard to narrow this book down to one genre, as there are many elements of very different genres. If you love action, supernatural forces, magical stories, and even dogs, you are no doubt going to love this story! Regardless of whether a person likes these conditions or not, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a very good adventure. Also, i Minnow is an exceptional story that tells the journey and quest that a young boy in the Lowcountry of South Carolina has to take. It is hard to narrow this book down to one genre, as there are many elements of very different genres. If you love action, supernatural forces, magical stories, and even dogs, you are no doubt going to love this story! Regardless of whether a person likes these conditions or not, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a very good adventure. Also, if you have any history in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, you are no doubt going to love the references to a familiar place in Minnow.

  3. 4 out of 5

    P.E.

    As part of my internship, I have been translating this little guy with V. Buhl for Les Éditions du Sous-Sol, publisher for the French edition of the novel, from January to May 2016. Welp, I am not that surprised by most of the comments I fish here and there! I consider it too as a mixbag of vivid, dreamlike settings, unusual premises and a tense plot eventually falling somewhat short of my expectations! I thought I was in for some revealing trial when first introduced with Sorry George - anyone As part of my internship, I have been translating this little guy with V. Buhl for Les Éditions du Sous-Sol, publisher for the French edition of the novel, from January to May 2016. Welp, I am not that surprised by most of the comments I fish here and there! I consider it too as a mixbag of vivid, dreamlike settings, unusual premises and a tense plot eventually falling somewhat short of my expectations! I thought I was in for some revealing trial when first introduced with Sorry George - anyone thought it could be Dr Crow, for kicks? ;) - I certainly appreciated the whole locale about the fishing town, then the feast in the village, and was taken aback by (view spoiler)[Minnow getting grievously impaired in the end (hide spoiler)] , but to me it didn't totally make up for the hopes set by the first 50 pages, building over the next 150! It still ranks among the best translating experiences I have had so far and 'Sorry George' has secured himself some foothold in my mind when it comes to translation ;) Matching Soundtrack : Valley of the Blinding Mist - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter OST by Mikolai Stroinski ------------------------------------------ Pas vraiment surpris par les commentaires lus à droite à gauche ! À mes yeux, c'est un mélange de rêveries hallucinées, de prémisses inhabituelles et d'intrigue accrocheuse qui tombe à plat en cours de route. Autant j'apprécie le cadre travaillé de la Caroline du Sud et de ses villages de pêcheurs, et je suis pris de court (view spoiler)[ par l'éborgnement de Minnow dans la dernière partie de son périple (hide spoiler)] , autant ça n'honore pas les attentes installées dans les 50 premières pages et développées sur les 150 pages suivantes ! Et puis... je m'attendais à de toutes autres révélations lors de la rencontre avec le Dr. Crow, pas vous ? En tout cas, après l'avoir traduit avec V. Buhl pour Les Éditions du Sous-Sol de janvier 2016 à mai 2016, cette histoire garde une place particulière dans ma mémoire en tant que premier texte sur le plan de travail ! :) Fond musical : Valley of the Blinding Mist - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter OST par Mikolai Stroinski

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    I really enjoyed this fantastically southern Odyssey/Huck Finn journey-style book, historically set in the Lowcountry of my home-state of South Carolina. McTeer's lovely language in several scenes made me smile nostalgically and salivate in anticipation. As our hero, Minnow, hungrily awaits a hard-earned dinner, the description reads, "she leaned forward and spilled the contents of the basket across the table. The shrimp and crab flowed out in a glistening, steaming tide. Spicy steam roiled into I really enjoyed this fantastically southern Odyssey/Huck Finn journey-style book, historically set in the Lowcountry of my home-state of South Carolina. McTeer's lovely language in several scenes made me smile nostalgically and salivate in anticipation. As our hero, Minnow, hungrily awaits a hard-earned dinner, the description reads, "she leaned forward and spilled the contents of the basket across the table. The shrimp and crab flowed out in a glistening, steaming tide. Spicy steam roiled into the air and out over the beach. The bounty was spread before them: orange shrimp in shells, crab claws sharp and red, tender white bodies split, legs curled by the heat. Each salty piece was fat with flaky, succulent flesh." If that doesn't get you hankering for a good ol' Lowcountry Boil, I don't know what ails you. The mystery and darkness surrounding Minnow's journey are also beautifully described by McTeer, making you simultaneously want to visit this beautifully wild and arcane land that is unique to South Carolina's and Georgia's sea islands. The dark, swampy landscape, filled with danger and the perplexing unknown are effectively captured, carrying the reader along on an exciting, suspenseful adventure, filled with both beautiful and disturbing imagery. I can't wait to see the future tales that this author holds in his pen.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    XXX An ARC debut novel received as a Goodreads Giveaway by my daughter Kellye, I have borrowed Minnow after watching her enjoy it. Minnow and James E. McTeer received the 2015 South Carolina First Novel Prize. The setting is long ago, but not specified. My impression is the 1920's or 1930's but it could be before or after then. This is a fascinating tale about a young boy - our Hero, Minnow, as it were - on a mission to obtain medication that will help his dying father. He is forced to wander th XXX An ARC debut novel received as a Goodreads Giveaway by my daughter Kellye, I have borrowed Minnow after watching her enjoy it. Minnow and James E. McTeer received the 2015 South Carolina First Novel Prize. The setting is long ago, but not specified. My impression is the 1920's or 1930's but it could be before or after then. This is a fascinating tale about a young boy - our Hero, Minnow, as it were - on a mission to obtain medication that will help his dying father. He is forced to wander through the South Carolina barrier islands seeking a witch doctor, with fifty cents in his pocket, a half-ferrel dog, and only the vaguest of instructions. His quest is further conflicted by a language barrier, and men of ill repute, and monster of a storm. As I read this book, I was reminded of dreams - the unsupported leaps of knowledge, the undefined decisions that compel the dreamer to go forward. But that does not define this novel. It is undefinable. I am very glad to have read it. I would recommend it to anyone who knows and loves the barrier islands, Southern literature, and coming of age novels. This book will bring you much to ponder, and require much more than just the time it takes to read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Gunderman

    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I went into this book with such amazingly high hopes. Fo the first few chapters, I was pleased at how well written and enjoyable the book was. It reminded me of some of the enjoyable books that I had to read in high school English class. But by the middle of the book, I had that same feeling...only about books that I didn't like in high school. In short, the book gave me a Huckleberry Finn type vibe. It was just...so...in the pa I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I went into this book with such amazingly high hopes. Fo the first few chapters, I was pleased at how well written and enjoyable the book was. It reminded me of some of the enjoyable books that I had to read in high school English class. But by the middle of the book, I had that same feeling...only about books that I didn't like in high school. In short, the book gave me a Huckleberry Finn type vibe. It was just...so...in the past, where it was okay to differentiate between races with not so nice words. I mean, I get that the book was set in the past and all, but still. I guess that really isn't my thing, and by all means, it doesn't make the book bad, it just makes it not such a good fit for me. The story was interesting, and original, and it definitely had its exciting points, but I just felt that some parts of the book were long and drawn out, and I just longed for them to be over already.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    A nice story - a good one for the boys back at the tree fort. But it remained just a kid's story. There was a want of substance to the story that left me feeling empty at the end.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cat Thomas

    Well, I just finished this book, and I'm almost speechless. This is a coming of age story. This book is not for the weak of heart. I know some have reviewed that the ending wasn't satisfying , but to me, I thought it was perfect. It was a magical book, full of mystery, full of adventure, and full of devastation, shock and heartbreak as we follow a brave boy who will risk anything for his family. Minnow is quite a character. He is a brave, sweet, southern boy who faces one tough situation after t Well, I just finished this book, and I'm almost speechless. This is a coming of age story. This book is not for the weak of heart. I know some have reviewed that the ending wasn't satisfying , but to me, I thought it was perfect. It was a magical book, full of mystery, full of adventure, and full of devastation, shock and heartbreak as we follow a brave boy who will risk anything for his family. Minnow is quite a character. He is a brave, sweet, southern boy who faces one tough situation after the other. A lot of this story was tough to swallow, but reminds me of the harsh reality of what it might of been like to live through a certain devastation that people risk living on the coast during that time. It was raw, it was real, and its rich with history of the cultures that exist on the islands twisted with McTeer's imagination. McTeer writes really well, and clearly has done his research. Just a fare warning if you choose to read this book, it will make you cry, no...it will make you bawl , it will make you queasy,it will break your heart, it will make you laugh, and it will make you feel the love a boy has for his family, it is magical, and it is mysterious. But isn't life one big mystery?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Probably more like a 1.5. Let's say I am really bummed. I love southern fiction. I love a good adventure story. I love descriptive writing. This was supposed to be all three in one. Unfortunately, I felt that unless you had been to the islands off the coast of South Carolina (which I haven't), it was very difficult to connect to the place. The author uses the same descriptions of the sky, the flora and the landscape over, and over, and over. There were times in the Minnow's adventure that got in Probably more like a 1.5. Let's say I am really bummed. I love southern fiction. I love a good adventure story. I love descriptive writing. This was supposed to be all three in one. Unfortunately, I felt that unless you had been to the islands off the coast of South Carolina (which I haven't), it was very difficult to connect to the place. The author uses the same descriptions of the sky, the flora and the landscape over, and over, and over. There were times in the Minnow's adventure that got interesting and then he hits another snag and again, the story repeats on itself. The ending was a huge let down, both from a completely unsurprising way and repetitive description of an unpleasant part of the story. I really wanted to like this story....

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This is the type of book that you pick up and can't put down until you've read the entire thing and stared at the cover over and over. The writer did such an amazing job at giving the reader a glimpse into the lowcountry. Actually he did more than that--he picked me up and put me right in the pluff mud. The story is never boring; there are adventures around every corner for Minnow and his strangely acquired dog. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. It is an extr This is the type of book that you pick up and can't put down until you've read the entire thing and stared at the cover over and over. The writer did such an amazing job at giving the reader a glimpse into the lowcountry. Actually he did more than that--he picked me up and put me right in the pluff mud. The story is never boring; there are adventures around every corner for Minnow and his strangely acquired dog. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. It is an extremely well written novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Slade

    Awesome book! I felt like I was on the islands with Minnow! Lots of descriptions, twists and turns in this great adventure!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carole Delahunty

    Unlike anything I've read. The imagery is so strong and I felt this story as much as I read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I read this book in my English 1 Honors class, and it was phenomenal! I really enjoyed following Minnow throughout his journey, and I felt as though I was travelling with Minnow. McTeer uses a LOT of imagery in this book, so I always had a clear image of Minnow's surroundings. I also loved the fact that I could never put the book down. I remember sitting in my Geometry class and between problems I would keep reading as much as possible until I had to stop reading. One of my favorite parts of thi I read this book in my English 1 Honors class, and it was phenomenal! I really enjoyed following Minnow throughout his journey, and I felt as though I was travelling with Minnow. McTeer uses a LOT of imagery in this book, so I always had a clear image of Minnow's surroundings. I also loved the fact that I could never put the book down. I remember sitting in my Geometry class and between problems I would keep reading as much as possible until I had to stop reading. One of my favorite parts of this book is the ending (I won't give it away to people who have not read the book). I recommend this book to people of all ages who need a new adventure, and (p.s.) great job McTeer!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madison Brackett

    I really loved this book by James E. McTeer. He recently visited our school and gave us some more background information about the book which was very helpful. The book was very amazing and is great for people who love action-packed adventure books. I love the number of things that are happening at once and also helps you to realize how amazing the book is structured.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Breanna

    Minnow is a wonderful story about a young boy named Minnow. He has to go on a fast-paced adventure to save his father before it's too late. Filled with mystery, wonder, heroes, and enemies, Minnow is a wonderful book for a wide audience of readers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hudson

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. I love a good book about the journey of a character. This story uses a great amount of imagery and I would definitely read it again. If you are looking for a good read and fun adventure then this is the book for you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    This book was a magnificent book. It had a great plot and was an amazing experience for me to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes mysterious books and many plot twist.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Slagle

    Minnow, by James E. McTeer II, is a coming of age story about the quest of a young boy to save the life of his critically ill father. McTeer is the 2014 winner of the South Carolina First Novel award and it is a worthy recipient of this honor. The story takes place in the barrier islands of South Carolina at some point in the past, probably the 1920's. The protagonist is Minnow, a young, innocent boy who has lived a sheltered life. When he is sent by his mother to buy some medicine that she has Minnow, by James E. McTeer II, is a coming of age story about the quest of a young boy to save the life of his critically ill father. McTeer is the 2014 winner of the South Carolina First Novel award and it is a worthy recipient of this honor. The story takes place in the barrier islands of South Carolina at some point in the past, probably the 1920's. The protagonist is Minnow, a young, innocent boy who has lived a sheltered life. When he is sent by his mother to buy some medicine that she has been told will help his ailing father, he is told by the pharmacist that he does not have it, but is sent on a quest to bring back dirt from the grave of a witch doctor and he will get the medicine his father so desperately needs. He is given very little information on where this grave is located, just that it is on one of the islands. Desperate to help his father, Minnow sets off on a perilous journey to find this grave. He encounters as many dangers and adventures as Odysseus, and meets several memorable characters. Traveling with a dog he meets along the way, his innocence and his determination to save his father keep him steadfast on his quest. The novel is well written with beautiful imagery and a deep understanding of the subject matter and the characters. It is enjoyable from beginning to end and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from Mr. McTeer in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Earlier this summer, I read a children’s book called Navigating Early. It dealt with two boys in 1940s Maine who go off into the forest on a quest. I didn’t love it, but I did like it better than Minnow. Minnow is for adults – I assume it’s for adults mostly because it has too many descriptions to ever make it as a children’s book. I get it. There are palmetto trees in South Carolina. Of the two books, Navigating Early has the more dynamic plot and aims higher. I finished Minnow and felt like I h Earlier this summer, I read a children’s book called Navigating Early. It dealt with two boys in 1940s Maine who go off into the forest on a quest. I didn’t love it, but I did like it better than Minnow. Minnow is for adults – I assume it’s for adults mostly because it has too many descriptions to ever make it as a children’s book. I get it. There are palmetto trees in South Carolina. Of the two books, Navigating Early has the more dynamic plot and aims higher. I finished Minnow and felt like I had just spent over 200 pages reading about nothing. The payoff is lackluster, and I suppose the argument could be made that it was subtle because it’s literary fiction. Fair enough, but that’s not how I interpreted it. There are a lot of coming-of-age tales that use journeys or quests as a metaphorical stand in. Given the crowded field, I’d pass on this one. Not recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Johnathan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The story is good itself but the character is flat and the book is way too descriptive. I feel like there should have been more stable characters that last throughout the story. Also, it seems like most of the book is just describing is great detail the current scene/environment that Minnow is walking through (which is almost the entirety of the book). By the way the story ended I also feel like it was a poor summation to end the story quickly and that nothing was really gained throughout the pl The story is good itself but the character is flat and the book is way too descriptive. I feel like there should have been more stable characters that last throughout the story. Also, it seems like most of the book is just describing is great detail the current scene/environment that Minnow is walking through (which is almost the entirety of the book). By the way the story ended I also feel like it was a poor summation to end the story quickly and that nothing was really gained throughout the plot. All characters mentioned disappear within a few pages and are never heard of again. Most of the story is just Minnow walking around while the book describes the setting again and again. It would have been better to use less descriptives, give a better ending with his parents (does his father get well or not?) and Dr. Crow should have still been alive so that something could come out of the story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Blass

    I honestly don’t know what to do with this one. As some other reviewers have written, it doesn’t quite fit into any single genre. It starts as a sweet coming-of-age quest to save his father and eventually morphs into some kind of Cormac McCarthy tale. It was almost YA, but I wouldn’t recommend it to any pre/teen, what with the McCarthy bits. The ending was frustratingly abrupt. I like messy endings, but this one was not worth the journey, in my opinion. I’m curious to see what else comes of this I honestly don’t know what to do with this one. As some other reviewers have written, it doesn’t quite fit into any single genre. It starts as a sweet coming-of-age quest to save his father and eventually morphs into some kind of Cormac McCarthy tale. It was almost YA, but I wouldn’t recommend it to any pre/teen, what with the McCarthy bits. The ending was frustratingly abrupt. I like messy endings, but this one was not worth the journey, in my opinion. I’m curious to see what else comes of this writer—I’d give him another shot because there are some intriguing aspects of this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca L

    I enjoyed Minnow and it is by far one of the best books I read that is set around South Carolina. The book has a variety of genres and can bring anyone in to read it. I do not recommend this book for children under the grade of six because of some parts of the book. Minnow does, however, have valuable life lessons that can teach young readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Gottshalk

    I think it's important for any future readers of this book to visit, or have already visited, the Low Country of South Carolina. There is such a strong sense of setting coursing through each well-can after chapter, it's hard to describe unless the reader has some background knowledge about the land, culture, and distinct flavor of the area. As for plot, it's one of those "quest" stories, with a never-say-die small boy as the protagonist. There was much to like about this short novel, and yet I f I think it's important for any future readers of this book to visit, or have already visited, the Low Country of South Carolina. There is such a strong sense of setting coursing through each well-can after chapter, it's hard to describe unless the reader has some background knowledge about the land, culture, and distinct flavor of the area. As for plot, it's one of those "quest" stories, with a never-say-die small boy as the protagonist. There was much to like about this short novel, and yet I felt that the author could have gone in a couple of more fulfilling directions as the book wended its way to a conclusion that most definitely put a picture in my head. Good little read at about 230 pages!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Take away the paragraphs describing trees and this book would be a short story. I love history and the Low Country of South Carolina with its Spanish moss and knobby pines, but geesh, enough. I also enjoyed Minnow's youthful determination despite real and supernatural dangers, and interesting character introductions, until his second day, I'd say. The storm isn't a spoiler, but the torrent of words didn't blow me away. Admittedly, the story stirred up emotions, but the overwhelming one was irrit Take away the paragraphs describing trees and this book would be a short story. I love history and the Low Country of South Carolina with its Spanish moss and knobby pines, but geesh, enough. I also enjoyed Minnow's youthful determination despite real and supernatural dangers, and interesting character introductions, until his second day, I'd say. The storm isn't a spoiler, but the torrent of words didn't blow me away. Admittedly, the story stirred up emotions, but the overwhelming one was irritation at repetition and the author's overuse of his Roget-like cache of adjectives. Glad to return to the library...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    The descriptive language is really the star of Minnow and it's my opinion that the best way to read this book is to savor the descriptions of the South Carolina Lowcountry. As a native South Carolinian (who isn't from the Lowcountry that McTeer writes about, but is familiar with it and cherishes it), I devoured this book. Another reviewer referenced The Odyssey, and that's a comparison I also made. This is a Lowcountry Odyssey, with the innocence and pure motivations of Minnow in place of the wi The descriptive language is really the star of Minnow and it's my opinion that the best way to read this book is to savor the descriptions of the South Carolina Lowcountry. As a native South Carolinian (who isn't from the Lowcountry that McTeer writes about, but is familiar with it and cherishes it), I devoured this book. Another reviewer referenced The Odyssey, and that's a comparison I also made. This is a Lowcountry Odyssey, with the innocence and pure motivations of Minnow in place of the wiliness of Odysseus. And the geography and myth of the Lowcountry is just as much of a character as any other in the novel. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Not sure how my rating was saved as two stars, this is one of the most beautiful, haunting books I've read in a long time. I was sorry for it to end. The young protagonist sets out on a seemingly impossible journey, in hopes of finding medicine that will save his father's life. The setting is the swamps and islands on the Carolina shore, and is so well drawn that it feels like you're there. I'm guessing that there are parallels to the Odyssey or other classic "journey" literature (I can feel it!) Not sure how my rating was saved as two stars, this is one of the most beautiful, haunting books I've read in a long time. I was sorry for it to end. The young protagonist sets out on a seemingly impossible journey, in hopes of finding medicine that will save his father's life. The setting is the swamps and islands on the Carolina shore, and is so well drawn that it feels like you're there. I'm guessing that there are parallels to the Odyssey or other classic "journey" literature (I can feel it!) although I am not familiar enough to speak to that. Sigh. I might have to read it again.

  27. 4 out of 5

    M

    Huck Finn goes to the Lowcountry - as I read this book I thought it was a good YA or kids story, until the final chapters. What an unnecessary, sad, gruesome and disappointing way to end this story. Nice descriptions of lowcountry nature, but it became too repetitive. I enjoyed much of this book, but Minnow's trip home totally ruined the read. Too bad

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Received an ARC of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Really enjoyed this book. Great imagery. My only complaint is that the ending wrapped up more quickly than I would have liked. The main character went on a long journey and then all of a sudden it ended and the book ends.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Hankins

    Minnow This wasn't a terrible story but not my cup of tea. Way too much descriptions, detailed and constant descriptive writing. And the ending was a total let down.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Ivey-Swofford

    I didn't think I'd ever finish this little book.

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