Brothers of the Fire Star
By Arvidson, Douglas
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War, courage, brotherhood, and a desperate struggle for survival among the islands of the western Pacific are the central themes of Brothers of the Fire Star, a multiple-award winning novel by Douglas Arvidson. Appropriate for adult as well as young adult readers, the story begins with the Japanese invasion of Guam in December 1941. As war planes bomb Sumay Village, an American boy named Joseph is caught in the jungle, unable to return home. He seeks refuge inside the all-embracing roots of a banyan (nunu) tree, which Chamorros believe are haunted by taotaomo'na, the spirits of their ancestors. As night falls, Joseph, frightened but exhausted, falls asleep among the tree's protective roots only to be awakened by a procession of spirits carrying flaming torches. A spirit tells him that the secrets of the ancient navigators - using star paths to steer canoes across oceans - have been lost to Chamorros and Joseph must help bring them back by finding a Chamorro boy named Napu and escaping the invading Japanese forces. The two take off in a small sailboat, guided by the "Spirit of the Voyage" and learn the secrets of the ancient navigators as they go, as well as how to survive and live together despite their differences of race and culture and the war that rages around them.
*A ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist for Young Adult Fiction and an Arizona-New Mexico 2013 Book Awards Finalist in Young Adult fiction, Adult Adventure Fiction, and Adult Historical Fiction
*2012 Book of the Year, IndieFab Award Finalist for Young Adult Fiction (Children's)
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, World War II, Sailing
Binding: Paperback - 207 pages
Publisher: Crossquarter Publishing Group, Santa Fe, NM
Publication Date: October 2012
Dimensions (w x h x d): 6" x 9" x 0.5"
Weight: 12.48 oz.
About the Author
Douglas Arvidson grew up in a small farm in New England. After serving in the military and finishing graduate school, he spent nearly thirty years overseas, teaching, traveling, and writing, including eleven years living on a sailboat on the small island of Guam. It was during this time that he studied the ancient methods of traditional navigation. His international prize-winning short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States. He now lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. His website is: douglasarvidson.com. For more insights on the writing of Brothers of the Fire Star, visit brothersofthefirestar.blogspot.com.
- Linda Morehouse, Editor, WeBuildBooks
"This book is fantastic! I'm reading it with 12 to 18 year old incarcerated students. They love it. They are learning about the importance of friendship and the human connection to nature and the universe, survival and the great Pacific Ocean amid World War II. This book has won four awards for Young Adult Literature, for adventure and historical fiction."
- Maureen Murphy, Educator
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