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Excerpt

Flash Point

by Sneed B. Collard III

As wildfires threaten his home, his stepfather’s livelihood, and the raptors he has come to love, Luther struggles to resolve the conflicts in his community and the ones inside himself.

The town of Heartwood, Montana, is burning out of control. Stoked by the very real flames from nearby wildfires, long-standing, smoldering disputes over forestry policies have been reignited, pitting out-of-work local residents against environmentalists and state wildlife managers. At the center of the heated dispute is high school sophomore Luther Wright.

Luther used to be just like all his friends, playing football and partying every chance he got. But not anymore. Now he spends his time helping Kay, the local veterinarian, rehabilitate injured raptors and learning the art of falconry. Against the backdrop of Montana’s worst wildfire season in years, Luther begins questioning many of the community’s basic precepts, and in doing so faces alienation not only from his friends, but also from his own family. He finds a kindred spirit in Alex, a new girl at his school who is also “on the outside” socially. But when someone starts shooting Kay’s birds and suspicious fires start breaking out, Luther and Alex are drawn into a situation far more dangerous than either of them could ever have imagined.

Award-winning author Sneed B. Collard III offers readers an affecting, realistic portrait of a teenage boy who learns to navigate a difficult course between standing up for what he believes in and maintaining loyalty to his family and the friends and neighbors he has known much of his life. Collard also provides a balanced look at a very real problem by illustrating the difficulties of balancing competing environmental and economic interests.

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-385-6
Total Pages: 256
Size: 5 1/4 x 8
Language: English
Paperback: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-577-5
Total Pages: 256
Size: 5 1/4 x 8
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-607-9
Age Range: 12 – 16
Language: English

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Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 111513
AR Reading Level: 4.7
AR Points: 7

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: Y
F&P Grade: 6

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 5
Reading Counts Points: 13
Reading Counts Interest Level: 6-8

Reviews

“…there is a great deal of information woven into this interesting, well-paced story. Forest fires (good and bad), politics and corporate greed all play into the tale, and Luther is a realistically confused teen. Young teens interested in nature, animals and ecology will probably find much to enjoy.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Luther is a sympathetic, believable character. Information about logging, forest fires, and birds of prey is skillfully integrated. Environmentally minded teens will appreciate this look at current issues within a coming-of-age story.” ―School Library Journal

“This solid story set in Montana should appeal to readers interested in ecological themes such as managing fires in forests and protecting raptors…Collard is a biologist who knows the forestry management arguments, and through his characters the issues are thoroughly examined. Details of training falcons will fascinate many readers.” ―Kliatt

Awards

Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award (honor winner, Young Adult category) ―ASPCA 2006

Green Earth Book Award (young adult fiction) ―Newton Marasco Foundation 2007

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education 2007

Meet the Author

Sneed B. Collard III is a biologist, world traveler, speaker, and author of more than forty books for young people, including Flash Point, Dog Sense, and Double Eagle. Collard holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in Montana. You can visit his website here.