Okay, so I totally cried at the end.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Today I’d like to tell you my thoughts on The Boy Who Knew Everything by Victoria Forester. This is my first book review of 12 over the course of the next 12 months, and is the first time in a while that I’ve made time to read fiction (vs. the author-related titles I usually spend my time on).
Let me start by saying that when I first started reading this book, I was not impressed.
I read the first in the series, The Girl Who Could Fly, a handful of years ago, and by comparison, this book seemed a little bit aimless for the first third or so. But once I saw clear of that part of the story, things got interesting.
Conrad Harrington III is a 12-year-old boy who is both a super-genius and the son of the President of the United States. He is part of a group of children who have special abilities. Some, like his best friend Piper McCloud, can fly. Others can heal, create weather, and alter the moods of people around them. This group of extraordinary children all met in that first book at a wicked school for those with these types of powers. After their escape from the school, they all joined with each other to learn how to work as a team to help those who may be stranded by inclement weather, natural disasters, and catastrophes in general.
After the group of children spend months training together to create a sort of extraordinary power team, they begin going out into the world to help those in need. Conrad is the leader of this group, and it is under his direction that they do these good deeds. His mind is like a supercomputer, discovering where the next disaster is likely to strike and assigning tasks to his team to best complete the mission.
However, Conrad begins to find some similarities between these terrible events. At each location where the team congregates, he finds small, red stones, an indicator that something or someone knows about these events before they happen and before he does. It’s a commonality that irks him, a puzzle he seems unable to solve.
Conrad’s father, the President, has told the entire world that his son has died.
He is so embarrassed and alarmed by his son’s behavior that he abandons him completely. But one day, the First Lady, and presumably Conrad’s mother, pays him a visit at the farm where Piper’s family, and all of the exceptional children, live. She has news about Conrad’s little sister; she’s gone missing, and his mother needs his help to find her.
Off to the White House he and Piper go, and they’re given just ninety minutes to find the little girl. They determine that the child also has powers, and in a short amount of time they are able to locate her. But a firefight ensues, and the President is shot, and surely dead.
Conrad and Piper travel to a place called Mother Mountain in an effort to find a cure for his father, and within it they discover a paradise meant only for people who have powers like theirs. They are accepted within the community, but Conrad is haunted by the idea that his father may now be dead. After meeting Max, a boy who has lived since the dark ages, they discover some terrible truths about their journey, their new friends, and Conrad’s father’s past.
And yes, the end made me cry.
Something I learned about myself from reading this book is that I’ve, for the time being, lost some interest in Middle Grade fiction. Let me just clarify that this book is NOT the reason why. I still have a special place in my heart for young children doing amazing things. But I’m finding that I enjoy reading in the Young Adult genre more, and over the years I’ve come to enjoy writing in that genre as well.
So, what’s next?
Next month I’ll be diving into 100 Cupboards Book 1 by N. D. Wilson. I can’t wait to get started!
Stay safe out there, friends. And until next time …