A Stairway to Danger by Ben Woodard

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Publication Date: November 30, 2012

BW_Stairway_DanerIt’s 1923 and Kentucky cousins, Will and Tom, find the eyeless body of a sheriffs deputy on the banks of a river. Not far down the river the boys stumble into a barge and what follows is the great adventure of their young lives but will they live to tell about it?






A Stairway To Danger (A Shakertown Adventure) is an adventure story in the spirit of classic adventure stories. Within the story line, Tom is a reader of such classics as Tom Sawyer and his reading material inspires certain elements within this story line. It’s clear that the author was greatly inspired by these past masters, but brings his own uniquely updated spin to play.

Woodard chose to set his story in a real Kentucky town that is now a historic village. He also coaches elements of his story in actual history that can’t help but to educate the young reader. Woodward handles the sense of setting beautifully. I have not been to Shakertown, but have been to Harrodsburg and Danville and can picture perfectly the acres of farm operated by Will’s father and the leafy riverbanks where the adventure plays out.

Tom and Will are independent in a way that modern children can only dream of being. They see a task and know what must be done, and risk all to do it. They don’t necessarily give regard to how the people around them feel, but 14-year-olds on the cusp of the greatest adventure they’ve ever had, wouldn’t naturally consider consequences or how their actions would impact those around them. Add to the mix a brave young girl who helps the boys in their quest and there’s something for everyone.

The overall story line flowed beautifully. There was no excess within the plot. I really enjoyed this story and the characters. A Stairway To Danger (A Shakertown Adventure) is a great modern classic. I would recommend it for the 12+ young adult.

The next book in the Shakertown series, “Steps Into Darkness: A Shakertown Adventure (Shakertown Adventure Series) (Volume 2)” was published in May 2013.

For more information about Ben Woodard, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @benswoodard.

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