Book Review: Trail of the Raven: Haiti – Chip Davis

Author: Chip Davis
Genre:  Young Adult

**I received this book from the author for review. Other than the joy of reading, I received no compensation for this review.**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Jack’s life consisted of new schools, in new towns, with the same old problems. The pattern continued until he saw Ana deep in the woods. Through Ana, Jack developed a keen interest in learning who he was and where he came from, his ancestors. 

“The best way to learn about your ancestors is to put yourself in the same environment they were in. It isn’t enough to know what they did. If you really want to know them, you need to learn about what shaped them into who they were.” Those were Ana’s words. Her death left Jack with the realizations that he knew little of this amazing woman who was his adopted mother. 

The first step of Jack’s quest takes him to the last place she visited before his adoption, the island of Haiti. New friends, unexpected events, and the island itself give Jack a greater understanding of Ana, and ultimately himself.
Come with Jack as he begins his Journey.

My Review:
Trail of the Raven: Haiti is the first of a series of books about Jack, who is following in the footsteps of his adopted mother in the discovery of their ancestors through travel and discovery.  Chip Davis has combined non-fictional stories with a fictional cast of characters and combined them into an easy to read, enjoyable book that educates, inspires and entertains.

What I Loved:  This was an easy read, and very appropriate for the audience.  I loved how through Jack’s curiosity you discover more about the people and environment around him; the stories that the individuals tell are true events that likely can be tracked back to a specific date and time.  This is very easily the “old way” of keeping and remembering history, through story telling such as this.

Jack’s character was one that I think that everyone, even the best of us, can learn from.  He was curious and not afraid to ask questions, but he also watched his environment and those around him to learn what is appropriate behavior for the environment he was in.  Most of all, he cared for everyone and knew how to show love and compassion without being a push over.  I think that is what I loved this most of all.  The sly (recent) history lesson was interesting and held my attention, but the book as a whole made me want to be more like Jack.

Not So Much:  As far as the story goes, it was good, easy to read and was easy to follow without being overly descriptive and losing you in the process.  The one bit I had trouble with was the transitions between scenes.  Sometimes it felt like you were in one moment washing dishes and in the next line it was the next day.  In a book like this, I’m not sure how this could be resolved, but I can say that on more than one occasion I would back up and reread just to make sure I didn’t miss something between Point A and Point B.

Rating:  PG
Rated:  5 Stars – despite any issues I may had with the book, I loved its purpose!   I cannot fathom anything lower than 5.