Publication Date: May 9, 2023
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Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7
Separated from his siblings in the midst of a dangerous forest fire, 11-year-old Virgil must find a way to survive using only his wits and the lessons his late mother taught him about the wilderness.
Virgil is making his older siblings trek to a mountain lake on a trip unlike any they’ve have taken before. They carry precious cargo: the ashes of their beloved mother, who asked that her remains be scattered at her favorite spot. But when a forest fire is sparked by a bolt of lightning at the exact moment when their van breaks down, the journey quickly turns to disaster.
While the oldest, Josh, is gone to find help, Virgil and his sister, Kaitlyn, spot fleeing animals and soon see flames flickering above the tree line. Once the sky begins to darken with the haze of burning timber, Virgil finds himself separated from his sister and left alone in the wilderness. He isn’t sure he can make it, but with the memory of his late mother, a science teacher, and all her lessons to guide him, he quickly learns that not everything has a perfect explanation and survival starts with letting go.
Fire on Headless Mountain showcases not only the overwhelming beauty and terrifying power of nature, but also the gift of memory when facing great emotional and physical trials. Lessons on ecosystems and fire safety are also seamlessly interwoven into this thrilling adventure tale.
Praise for Deadman's Castle:
“Lawrence, the Canadian writer whose High Seas Trilogy encompassed three chilling historical novels, now offers a menacing, contemporary tale of dread, danger, and revenge. Portraying family dynamics and middle-school antics with equal insight and attention to detail, Igor’s first-person narrative is absorbing.”–Booklist
“Featuring effective worldbuilding, this is a great, suspenseful tale of terror for upper middle graders”.–School Library Journal
“Friendship difficulties provide a contrast and an anchor to the terrifying threat, and the various plot elements are deftly tied together in a fitting twist that will have readers quickly turning the pages. Filled with suspense and intrigue."–Kirkus Reviews
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