David Whitewolf,
Aunt Puff & Missing Minerva
(iUniverse, 2004)

There are enough imaginative riffs in this slim volume to fill a dozen books. Not only is author David Whitewolf chock to the brim with creative concepts and fun, he's a competent storyteller and has a firm grasp of plot, pacing and other narrative tricks essential to good, young-adult stories.

Aunt Puff & Missing Minerva tells of a disappearance, a rescue and the dragons, ghosts, fairies and such that appear along the way. The book does suffer, though, from a lack of strong editing. Aside from cramming way too much into one book, there are numerous unforgiveable grammatical errors (most noticeably "it's/its" confusion), and the short, choppy sentences and minimal paragraphing are annoying and distracting to the reader. When writing for young people, attention to such details is even more vital.

I'd love to see what a talented editor might do with this talented author.

by Stephen Richmond
14 January 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.