Monday, April 25, 2016

"Whispers of Trees" by Ben Woodard

Whispers of Trees
(Mythic Adventures Collection Book 2)
by Ben Woodard

Whispers of Trees is the second book in the Mythic Adventures Collection by Ben Woodard. It is recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Also available: The Boy Who Flew With Eagles (read my blog post).

Whispers of Trees is currently on tour with BeachBoundBooks. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

More books by this author: A Stairway to Danger (read my blog post), Steps Into Darkness (read my blog post), The Hunt (read my blog post), and Bubbles: Big Stink in Frog Pond (read my blog post).

An ancient forest, a dark night, a strange woman - and whispers.
What is going on in this eerie Irish forest? Ten-year-old Declan has to find out. His brother is missing and only he can solve the mystery. But why him? He doesn’t even like his always-yelling brother who his sister says was eaten by wolves. But there are no wolves in Ireland.
Then a witch-like woman tells him the two of them have to go into the spooky woods to save his brother. But from what? The strange trees only whisper the answer and he must discover what they are trying to tell him. But he will learn much more than he ever dreamed.
Whispers of Trees is a fun, page-turning thriller hinting of myth that delivers a multicultural adventure.

He slowed as he spotted a piece of clothing that he recognized as Colin’s glove. He snatched it up while his eyes darted to the trees and bushes. He stood riveted, his neck stiff. There was no movement, no sound, and the leaves seemed to be frozen in place. A chill snaked its way down his spine. This was more than spooky - something was wrong. He tiptoed, trying not to make a sound. Why am I being quiet? I should be yelling for Colin. He moved off the trail and into the foliage, looking for the other glove.
The ground and fallen logs were covered with a thick mantle of moss. Mounds of it rose up from the forest floor, making a rolling green carpet between the massive trees. Branches seemed to wrap around him like tentacles. Still no sound.
If Colin was around, there would definitely be noise. He shuddered. Then spun around and charged back down the trail toward his parents.
The trees and bushes became a blur of brown and green. The trail narrowed and the foliage closed in. The wind wailed, and its sound rushing through the trees seemed to say Col-in Col-in. Declan’s throat tightened and his feet increased their furious assault on the ancient Irish ground.

Praise for the Book
"I have read many books by this author and he is such a master of short stories The story is well written and the characters become life like and recognizable to those we may know in real life. I enjoyed reading this book and was sorry when reaching the last page." ~ M. Hodgin
"Whispers of Trees is a great story to encourage boys to read. The length of the book is easily manageable even for timid readers and there is a mystery to solve with a bit of suspense to keep them engaged. It does all of this while teaching important life lessons like not judging people by their appearance." ~ Tina Morley
"I was mesmerized with the expressive writing, every detail jumped out at me and made me wonder page after page of jubilance. Short story kept me focus on the adventure of the thrill of quite a children book." ~ Darlene Cruz
"My son loved it and didn't want it to end. He asked me if we could read it again as soon as we finished it. It has the perfect amount of mystery and suspense as well as a wonderful lesson for kids and adults. So grab a copy and curl up with your little monster to find out if Declan listened to the trees." ~ Courtney Parker
"This author has so much talent and it shows in the plot of the story and the well thought out characters. Was easy to fall into the story, easy to keep up and has a smooth tell through the entire book! All in all a great read!" ~ Amazon Customer

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
During a family camping trip in the forests of Ireland, boisterous eight-year-old Colin O'Shea goes missing. Colin claimed to have seen a wolf the day before, and now his little sister Bridget says she saw a wolf eat him! But wolves haven't roamed these woods for 300 years. His ten-year-old brother Declan has another idea about what might have happened to him. Could his disappearance have something to do with the mysterious trees in the forest, the ones that appear almost human and seem to be whispering to him? What strange, old Mrs O'Leary has to say only reinforces his suspicions. Declan and Mrs O'Leary embark on a dangerous mission to rescue Colin - and to try and save the whole O'Shea family in the process.
This is a magical, mystical tale of witches, dryads, and family. Mrs O'Leary, the tech-savvy "witch" is a hoot. Stark black-and-white images of trees illustrate the book and add to the atmosphere created by the author's words; I only wish they were bigger. The story is similar in feel to the first book in this series - a tale of nature, with an underlying message of preservation. Once again, the author's notes at the end give us a further insight into the truth behind the fiction.
A great story for readers ages 7 to 12, especially boys.

About the Author
A spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii.
Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children's writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children's stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain. His titles include The Trestle (FREE), The Hunt, The Boy Who Flew With Eagles, A Terrible Price, (FREE), A Stairway to Danger, Steps Into Darkness, and Bubbles.
Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.