Oh my home school book loving friends I have run across a new to me author who is MARVELOUS! Henry Melton writes books with teen age protagonists who face real science fiction scenarios in the modern world. The writing is fast paced, the characters well developed, and there is none of that anti-parent propaganda so popular in most modern youth books. Themes in his books encourage communication between the generations, respectful relationships, learning about the sciences, and becoming active rather than passive in living.
Breaking Anchor is the first of his books I read. I found in this book a sound relationship between a father and son played out in a way that is neither sugary sweet nor hostile. Does the teen protagonist have issues with his Dad’s rules? Yup! Does he rebel and get hailed a hero for doing so? NOPE! Do some of his friends complain about how strict his dad is? Yes, and the protagonist stays loyal to his dad even though at times he feels sympathy with how his friends feel about it. It is his respect for what his father and what he taught him that keeps him alive and enables him to do what he does in the story.
The author is respectful of the emotions of teenagers, and portrays them realistically. The adults are never demonized but shown sympathetically as they too struggle with the situation. I liked very much the relationships I saw portrayed. Even the handling of attraction between teens is managed well and without any heavy moralizing, glorification or smut. The kids make the right decisions (from a Catholic standpoint I am delighted with their decision!) in a very natural organic to the story manner. Nicely done!
The underlying theme of responsibility to other people and to our promises has important and unexpected repercussions. Our protagonist takes risks and learns some things about himself, and that insight causes him to make some changes in his own attitudes. Altering his approach to differences in groups of persons by becoming more willing to adapt and more sympathetic to the desire not to have to adapt.
The book has a good underlying message that there is a LOT a teen can do when they have paid attention and learned from the adults. Our youthful hero applies what he learned and gains experience successfully because of his education. He survives the adventure because of lessons learned from his parents. The theme of authority is explored. The world view is devoid of relativism and sympathetic to Natural Law.
These books are aimed at teens. Taking the rule of thumb that the age of the readers is two to three years below that of the hero, then this book is aimed at 14-15 year old teens. I would certainly not hesitate to let my 15 year old children read this book. Depending on the teen, I would likely not hesitate to allow a preteen who is reading well to read this book.
As Home School parents we keep looking for good books that are age appropriate for our young readers which will be positive in influence and avoid undermining our efforts. I believe this author’s books do just that, and in a way that also encourages interest in science and learning.
Dear Lord, please bless Henry Melton and send many buyers for his books. Thank You for author’s whose work is interesting and filled with positive themes. Thank You for Henry Melton and his books. +Amen.