D.J. Renner is an outstanding storyteller! He first provides some basic historic background information. This in turn helps to place the reader squarely into every moment, and to understand what is happening. The reader is transported to mid-1600s America, where, with much feeling, Silas Freethorn himself recounts his tale of adventure. He is a thoughtful individual, and his story of learning, survival, love, and coming-of-age will stay with you for a very long time.
D.J. Renner's book Little Land of Loose Ends seemed to grab me as I walked by his table (in Lake George). It was the cover maybe, a picture of a path leading seemingly to wherever the story would take me. The heart of the story is in the Adirondacks where I grew up and which, to me, is the happiest place on earth. The lives of the people in (the book) hit home for me on so many levels. I haven't read in a while, but could not put this down. You will enjoy following these characters and the life that they love.
Review by Marlene Mammone Coleman, September 1, 2019
(This) is a great story that can be enjoyed by all ages. DJ Renner has written a novel you can't put down. At a young age, (Silas) feels he does not belong in his Puritan New England society. After some bad things happen...Silas is forced to run away and begin his adventure. For seven years Silas meets many new people and experiences many new cultures. The book is written so you understand everything (about the time period). This book is one worth reading!
Review of The Adventures of Silas Freethorn: A Puritan Tale by Ian Bailey, grade 8 book club
(This book) is an emotional roller coaster! Jess, an eighth grade girl (growing up in the Adirondack region)...learns to navigate middle school after the loss of her mom. Jess goes through many ups and downs...using lessons and rules learned through her experiences in middle school... she helps get her Dad back on track, but she doesn't realize she is forgetting to take care of the most important person...herself. (Jess) becomes an independent, considerate, young woman. (The book) provides the reader with a realistic outlook of going through middle school and learning to take care of yourself, even through the hard times.
Review of Raising Dad, Using Middle School Rules, by Alayna Wian, grade 8 book club.
We met yesterday at the Ticonderoga "Street Fest". It was the tail end of the event and I made an impulse purchase of Silas Freethorn just as you were packing up.
We were vacationing in the area and I took advantage of the relaxed schedule to read the book in a couple of sittings. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed it...I found the story captivating. I can imagine my middle school self taken in by the protagonist's narration.
As a teacher, I am struck by how hard it is to get students to ask questions. I can imagine that your book would stimulate some interesting classroom discussion. Maybe creating more Freethorns who question dogma.
Email from Dennis Lindenberg after reading The Adventures of Silas Freethorn: A Puritan Tale