Friday, August 10, 2012

Heron’s Path is compelling young adult fantasy

Cover image: Heron's Path

Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason (Spectacle Publishing Media Group, 2012) has accompanied me during my bus commute this week.

I was introduced to Eason’s earlier book, Hungry (HarperCollins Publishers, 2007), a few months ago. During the spring semester, I was taking a course in connecting adolescents with literature and libraries. One of the course requirements was to read and then contribute reviews of books to a class “book blog.”

When I told Middletown Library director Gehlen Palmer about the book blog project, he recommended that I read Hungry.

My impression of Hungry was that teens would be able to relate to conflicts faced by its main character: she is an extraterrestrial masquerading as human on earth and her parents demand that she eat her human best friend to demonstrate her maturity and loyalty.

Heron’s Path is in a different genre than the earlier book: the story combines elements of historical fiction and fantasy. And while Hungry was directed toward middle-grade readers, I think Heron’s Path would find its primary readership among older teens.

Heron’s Path tells the story of a pioneer girl, Katy, and her sister, Celeste. Narrated by Katy, the story opens dramatically: her sister has disappeared from the family’s farm. Celeste is found, but in circumstances that cannot be explained.

I do not want to go into further detail for fear of revealing too much. Suffice to say, both girls face decisions and choices that will have a profound impact in their lives.

Heron’s Path grabbed and held my interest as an avid reader of young adult fantasy.

Eason is a Lake County resident; she lives with her husband on Cobb. Her author biography notes that she has been published in places as varied as the children’s publications Shoo-Fly Audio Magazine and New Moon Magazine and the literary journals Frontiers and Sweet Fancy Moses.

Hungry is available through the combined catalog of the Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma County libraries. I plan to give Palmer my copy of Heron’s Path so watch for it in the catalog as well.

Read an excerpt from Heron’s Path at Read an online diary, written in the character of Celeste, at

Published Aug. 14, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee.

Update, Sept. 15: Heron’s Path is back from the the central library; I shelved it today in Juvenile Fiction next to Eason’s earlier book.

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