If you missed any of the tour stops visit The Staircase of Fire tour page for a complete list of participating blogs.
About the Book
Author: Ben Woodard
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Number of Pages: 276
Publisher: Miller-Martin Press
Publication Date: May 25, 2018
Summary: A quiet town in Kentucky explodes from a racial incident and fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is in the thick of it. His past haunts him and now he’s witness to a horrific event leaving him devastated and afraid. He must escape his town and its memories. But leaving has consequences, too. He will have to betray his friends and his new love.
Nothing stops his nightmares. Not high risk activities or running away. But when his past returns, Tom is forced to confront his greatest fear and finally realizes he cannot escape himself. Now he has to take a stand that could change his life—or end it.
“…a highly recommended pick for teens looking for something different…”
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
An eyeless body. A menacing stranger. And a tangled mystery.
It’s the summer of 1923 and two cousins hunting for hidden gold stumble on an decayed body. Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is convinced the death was murder and drags his older cousin into a harrowing struggle against a shadowy group. Not even attempts on their lives can stop the boys from relentlessly pursuing the mystery. But when their curiosity leads them to investigate a derelict barge, what they find is bigger and more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.
A STAIRWAY TO DANGER is a fun-filled thriller with humor and adventure in a Twain-like setting.
Winner! Orangeberry Hall of Fame Best Young Adult novel for 2013
Explosions, sabotage, deadly warnings, and a dangerous red-haired man. Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group stirring up racial tensions.
That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the second book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.
Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside—the town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin, Will, and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused until they discover the real villain—and then wish they hadn’t.
STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.
Promotional posts were shared by:
Letters from Annie Lima Douglass
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Several bloggers posted excerpts from the book:
Bookworm for Kids
Nothing But Books
Java John Z’s
Bound 2 Escape
Raising Kids of Gratitude
Here's what reviewers had to say...
"I didn’t read the other books in the Shakertown Series, but was able to dive right in without feeling lost. I like that the author keeps some secrets to himself which kept me reading to see what happened next. I really enjoyed The Staircase of Fire and am eager to go back and read the first two books. This is a good book for young adult readers." - Courtney Parker Blog
"I loved this book. Strong believable characters a reader can connect with. Tom must learn to face his haunting nightmares. Adventure. Mystery. I look forward to reading more books." - Kay LaLone - I Love Books
Tom and Helen witness a horrific crime, but know that if they go to the sheriff they will be endangering their lives and also the lives of anyone close to them. Distraught over what he saw and eager to get out of Shakertown, Tom hunts down the gold and heads north. It doesn't take Tom long to figure out that no matter where he lives the pain of what he's lost will haunt him. Unable to fight his conscience any longer Tom heads back to Shakertown to make things right, but at what cost? Can Tom gain forgiveness from those he hurt and more importantly can he forgive himself?
I have had the privilege of reading all the books in the Shakertown Adventure Series and have greatly enjoyed experiencing Tom, Will, and Helen's growth into young adults. Tom's maturity is evident in the decisions he makes about the gold, the racist crime he witnessed, and righting past wrongs. I love that the story takes place in the 1920's and the author has a way, through descriptive text and vivid details, of drawing the reader in keeping them hooked until the very last page. The Staircase of Fire is a definite must read.
I am looking forward to the next book and highly recommend checking out the entire series.
About the Author
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