The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

Book - 2015
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After witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, 14-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky.
Publisher: New York, Grand Central Publishing,, 2015.
Edition: First Edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015.
ISBN: 9781455551927
Characteristics: 468 pages ; 24 cm.


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Librarian_Deb Jan 02, 2018

I easily got caught up in this story, especially the last part when the main character, 14 year old Kevin, has to pull of an amazing feat of survival and grit to save the lives of him, his grandfather, and his best friend. It starts out sedately enough - Kevin and his mother are staying with his grandfather - "Pops" - for the summer in an attempt to help his mother recover after the death of Kevin's younger brother. At first the reader doesn't know how Kevin's brother died and waiting for that secret to be revealed does build some nice tension early in the story. Even though Kevin is burdened by this secret he is also soon enjoying the more rural environment of his Grandfather's small community, and soon makes a best friend named Buzzy Fink. He and Buzzy have several adventures together, adventures where Kevin learns about the secrets of woods and mudholes and caves. Kevin also learns much from Pops about the character and relationships between the residents of the close knit community, as Kevin starts helping Pops with his work at a veterinarian. We soon learn that a local mining outfit is tearing up the area by "mountain top mining" - basically blasting off the tops of mountains to get the very last bit of coal out of them. Pops is strongly against this environmental travesty, a stance that sets him against some of the powerful men in the community. Pop's enemies, local bullies, and teenagers up to mischief create several tense moments in the book - but it all comes to a dramatic head when Pops, Kevin and Buzzy set off on a trek through the mountains near the end of the summer. They think they can escape into nature and leave their troubles behind for a while - but trouble finds them in a most dramatic and exciting series of events.
Kevin's feats near the end seemed of near mythical proportions, but it make for a very satisfying ending. For a good man versus nature and man versus man adventure it was quite thrilling. I also got emotionally drawn into the different residents of the town and their conflicts. I'd definitely recommend this read.

Mar 18, 2015

A well told story about caring for others and growing up.

Feb 14, 2015

Loved the story from the beginning, but somewhere towards the middle, I felt the story dragging. Never quite grabbed me again.

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