Truth be told I’m much more a vampire person than a zombie person. I don’t really know why. Well, the whole flesh falling off is just a bit too much. With that said, the buzz recently has been about Boys of Blue by N.D. Wilson. I really enjoyed Mr. Wilson’s 100 Cupboards series so I decided to give it a try.
Charlie moves to a very small town in Traper, Florida with his mom, sister, and stepfather. They originally come to Traper to attend the funeral of the beloved high school football coach. Charlie’s step-dad was a pro football player. Traper is not your ordinary small town. It is close to the everglades where kids chase rabbits and try to out run the sugarcanes that have been set on fire. This alone would set it off from other small towns, but Charlie soon discovers that strange things happen in the swamps.
As soon as Charlie arrives he befriends Cotton. Cotton is a distant step cousin of Charlie. Charlie, also, discovers that his deadbeat biological father lives in the next town. Rereading this I expect to hear “And like sand through the hour glass, so are…”. It really isn’t that type of book.
The boys quickly find themselves engaged in something unnatural in the everglades. They get to the point where every decision could mean life or death.
N.D. Wilson has a way of sucking in the reader. The laundry can wait, the weeds will be there tomorrow, and the books accrue an even larger fine from the library, but once I started Boys of Blur I was hooked. I remember as a kid meeting someone and forming an instant connection like what happens to Charlie and Cotton. There were times where I felt the book was very creepy, but in a good creepy way. The natural flow of the book made everything fit together and not forced.
The reading level is 4th grade, but I would be careful. In my opinion it is end of 4th grade or to 7th grade, but one I will quickly recommend to boys I know.