Peabody Pond, by Brian J. Heinz
Review by Holly Jahangiri
Peabody Pond seems like an idyllic place to spend the summer. Connor and Otis have their secret “pirate ship, the H.M.S. Wonder – as in, “It’s a wonder she stays afloat” – to take them to the best fishing hole on the pond. If only they can get there before curmudgeonly old Crusty Crawford. If the existence of their leaky vessel were the only secret they shared – the only “little white lie” they told to keep their parents from worrying and curtailing their summer fun – their days on Peabody Pond would be spent fishing and making wisecracks about their friends and neighbors.
Instead, their natural curiosity leads them to witness an assault, kidnapping, and environmental disaster of epic proportions. As little secrets lead to bigger ones, and the boys tell bigger lies to cover little ones, they learn that maybe the most intrepid pirates need to accept help from unexpected places, sometimes.
But will the lessons come too late for Peabody Pond? “Nothing to worry about. This will all be over soon.” Or will it?
Brian Heinz’s Peabody Pond is a page-turner, full of suspense and science gone awry. Harmless little secrets and innocent cover-ups lead to a snowballing of lies on top of lies – making an already dangerous situation dire. A tale of easy friendships and unlikely friendships forged in adversity, it is an adventure in which all the characters learn to work together, relying on each person’s unique knowledge and strengths to solve the problems in front of them. But will they solve them, or will they make choices that lead to bigger challenges?
As an author, middle-school teacher, and model ship-builder, Brian J. Heinz knows a lot about teens, boats, and the environment. “As an adult, I taught science in the classroom and tried to instill in my students the same excitement for the discovery and love of nature that I felt,” Heinz writes. “I want my books to be enjoyable, exciting, and memorable. And I also want to impart some knowledge. I do not try to write with a gimmick in mind, or for a trend. I write about what moves me deeply or excites my imagination.”
Peabody Pond is full of adventure and thought-provoking environmental issues. Science fiction – or is it? This is a great summer read – just maybe not while lazing on a rowboat in the middle of a familiar pond.
Peabody Pond can be purchased online through the author's 4RV Publishing page or from other online stores.