Baker Trittin Press
Father and son team, Steve and Aaron Reed have produced a well-written tale in Myth of the Summer Moon. A chronicle of extended family living in community, these believable characters survive loss, poverty, and prejudice. They create loyal relationships strong enough to stand against a lurking evil. This coming-of-age story is concise and filled with fresh description.
Set in a valley in Appalachia in the late 1930s, Myth of the Summer Moon narrates a pivotal summer in the lives of three families. Jimmy’s mother died when he was small. Spunky older sister Frankie is a winsome mix of fierceness and tenderness as she cares for Jimmy and Titus, the dangerously unpredictable bull she raised from a baby.
Jimmy’s Greek neighbors are a loving household of three generations who celebrate their Mediterranean culture. Helena’s mother also died. While peers tease beautiful Helena for being “slow,” Jimmy sees a deeper quality. A sinister gang of bullies threaten the budding relationship between Jimmy and Helena until events combine to bring friends, cousins, neighbors, bullies, and even Titus together in a life-changing clash.
Established in 2003, Indiana-based Baker Trittin Press offers books for tweeners, particularly reluctant readers and boys. “Education is the process, but literacy is the goal,” states Baker Trittin Press. “If children enjoy reading, they will read. Our task – publishers, teachers, and parents – is to provide materials that will capture their interest and get them involved willingly.”
Marketed to youth, Myth of the Summer Moon appeals to readers seeking a meaty, mature story. If E.B.White’s classic Charlotte’s Web is G-rated, Myth of the Summer Moon is a PG-rated read.
He stirred in milk, “It’s Titus, ain’t it?”
“That bull will be the death of me. He busted out sometime last night, pitched Mrs. Crigger’s egg truck into a ditch, then run Hamp’s hogs all over creation. He’s probably poked half the cows between here and Rose Hill.”
She sipped thoughtfully at her coffee. “Hamp got hold of Daddy an’ he said it’s up to us to get him home. I called Uncle Marion, and he said to come get ‘Becca and Judy Rhea. I know they’re whining about it, but we can’t do it ourselves. Last time anybody seen him he was down in that little hollow below Silty’s.”
Jimmy heaped fried apples on his toast and watched her undo her jeans and tuck in her shirt. The fabric pulled tight across her chest. She pulled the shirt back out and let it flop loose. “How old are you?” she asked.
“Figures. Bulls and boys can’t think of nothing else, and I don’t think it changes much with age. I caught old man Martin trying to look down my shirt last time I was up at the feed store, and he’s ninety-four.”
My 11-year-old daughter was uncomfortable with the content of the first couple pages, but that will depend on the reader. My 14-year-old proved a better audience. Myth of the Summer Moon will also appeal to adults. I liked the story, wanted to be like Frankie, and steeped like a teabag in the love and respect shown between family members.
Myth of the Summer Moon reads quickly and smoothly. Zach and his sidekicks are a menacing trio, Titus the bull is a worthy source of tension, Frankie is a mixture of fearlessness and deep devotion, while gentle Jimmy and Helena are reluctant participants in the building suspense that brings all these credible characters together in a satisfying end. – PeggySue Wells, Christian Book Previews.com
In a world where God's love and protection often seems so far removed from the everyday pains of just growing up, we have a story which shows His gentle hand constantly guiding and and protecting. Buried in grief when mothers die and fear when bullies torment, He gives courage and hope.
Three families of middle and high school youth plagued with poverty, personal loss, and handicaps work together to overcome life's obstacles, both within themselves and their community.
Myths of generosity, sacrifice, and courage play out again in these young lives hidden from the world of the Great Depression in the valles of Appalachia.