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TILLMON COUNTY FIRE by Pamela Ehrenberg

TILLMON COUNTY FIRE

By Pamela Ehrenberg

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5345-5
Publisher: Eerdmans

An introspective look at truth and consequences in small-town America. Sophomore author Ehrenberg (Ethan, Suspended, 2007) uses a chorus of teenage voices to explain the circumstances surrounding an act of arson in rural Appalachian Tillmon County. The players include disturbed Evangelical Aiden, gentle Jeremy and his autistic twin Albert, adopted Amelia and her closeted boyfriend Ben, unhappily pregnant Lacey, studious Cait and cosmopolitan Rob, a gay boy fresh from New York City, whose calm self-assurance serves as the figurative catalyst of the fiery offense. While the teens’ voices are distinct and the various character studies mildly interesting, the action is nearly nonexistent and there is little suspense about who perpetrated the crime. Adult educators who appreciate the clear anti-bullying message and discrete voices might consider this short novel useful for an adolescent-issues class or reader’s theater production. A quiet tome that will require promotion if it is to find its select group of readers. (Fiction. 14 & up)