Books by Susan Williams

SPIES IN THE CONGO by Susan Williams
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A fine complement to other accounts of wartime efforts to keep atomic weapons from the Germans—e.g., most recently, Neal Bascomb's The Winter Fortress (2016). "
Dogged examination of the official American and British wartime interest in keeping valuable uranium ore from the Belgian Congo out of Nazi hands. Read full book review >
WIND RIDER by Susan Williams
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Theories of the domestication of the horse are varied and fascinating. This historical fiction is not. Williams very loosely places her protagonist, Fern, in the Eurasian steppes in 4000 b.c. with her nomadic family. Horses are only eaten by her people, so when she tames one, she keeps it a secret. You know the rest: Horse is discovered; Fern gets in trouble; horse proves its merit. Williams sprinkles the story with intriguing tidbits of daily life, some of which seem to have a basis in research, but many of which may be her self-proclaimed, "elaborate fabrications." If she had done so more convincingly, she might still have redeemed this effort. Though Fern does not have a word for peeing ("I did not really need to return my body's water to Earth Mother, but I had to get away"), she manages to invent the word "ride" ("A word came into my mind"), not having noticed that the author has been using that word for pages already. This, from the character who goes on to invent trotting, galloping, the bridle, the bit and the hobble. Horse lovers may attempt to slog through it anyway, but likely won't get past the cover. (Historical fiction. 9-13)Read full book review >

From the point of view of toddler brother Sam, a straightforward fictionalization of the events in a baby's life from just before birth to her first birthday—when she's on the verge of walking, can turn pages without tearing them, and is beginning to talk. Sam is allowed to hold Poppy and help with her care, like feeding her; although he is shown feeling slightly anxious or annoyed when she becomes mobile and gets into his toys, there is little hint of sibling rivalry here. Glowing, generous-sized illustrations showing an affectionate, unsentimentalized family are the book's best feature. Attractive, useful, but unexceptional. Read full book review >