Every good writer should write about what they know. As one born and raised in the vicinity of Elbridge, New York, where A Rifle for Reed (Amazon Kindle, 2013) takes place, author Amy Crofford is well-suited to craft this young reader’s tale. Well-researched and fast-paced, the story follows the 1851 adventures of twelve-year-old Reed Porter. It is a time of ferment in the country as people take sides in the great debate over slavery. Reed’s family is caught-up in the drama surrounding the Fugitive Slave Act and must decide where their loyalties lie.
Crofford is a newcomer to the genre and offers a wholesome alternative to much of the darker themes that dominate youth literature. The main drawback to the book – and the reason for my four star rating – is its limited marketing as a self-published work of fiction. One can only hope that a publisher will latch onto this engaging story and give it the wider audience it deserves.