“Picket Town” by Chris von Halle

Picket Town is a simple story with a tight plotline. It involves the adventures of only two heroes with few peripheral characters. The setting is a small town in the woods, isolated from any other humans, immediately rousing our suspicions that Something is Going On.

Amanda and Sam discover early in the story that their life is a sham, but what kind of sham and how to escape from it eludes them. From there on it is a two-against-their-world struggle, including a delicately handled budding relationship between the two pre-teens that adds to the charm of the tale.

Amanda is the centre of the book: a rounded and complex character, always questioning the world and herself, forgiving and loving as well.

This book is worth reading, especially for the deus ex machina ending, which pretty well breaks all the rules of novel writing, but is satisfying and appropriate in its strange way.

I was reading an ARC, so I cannot comment on the editing.

Recommended for 10- to 12-year-old readers.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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