Ben’s Challenge is popular with all ages

October 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Writing | Leave a comment
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There’s nothing nicer than hearing praise for a novel you have written – for the story, the setting, the characters, the writing itself. I am really happy to be receiving great comments from readers of all ages on Ben’s Challenge. I never expected to even write a novel, let alone have it prove so popular.

I wrote Ben’s Challenge for children and young adults, hoping they would enjoy a good story, and learn a little about the period and the area in which my own 10-11-year-old self lived (1957-9 rural Australia).

It is the story of a 13-year-old boy, Ben Kellerman, whose father is killed in a hit-and-run incident. Six months later, the police have been unable to discover who was driving the car that hit him. When Ben’s beloved bicycle is destroyed and the police cannot find that culprit either, Ben loses it.

He decides that he will find out the answers to both questions. He becomes close friends with Joe Musical, a Polish migrant, and together, the boys set out to investigate the mystery of Karl Kellerman’s death.

Some people prefer they desist in their efforts, but they carry on. Adventures, heart-ache, discoveries and some answers follow. Ben learns how to cope with bigotry, how to trust his mate and his adult friend, and how to be the male ‘adult’ of the family. But he begins to wonder if he and Joe can ever find the truth, when the police have been unable to.

Many readers have proved to be rather older than the age I had expected. They are the parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents of the age group I’d aimed for. Every one of these older readers has responded very positively to the novel. Now, I would really love to have some proper feedback from younger readers – more than the “I like it” variety that is all I have had so far.

Today, I did have an indirect response from a ten-year-old boy, via his mother. She said he is reading it and loving it. He takes the book to bed and reads some before going to sleep. I will ask her at some time in the future to get him to tell her if he liked it right through to the end, and why. And I will ask her to please let me know.

I wrote a book for children and young people, and it turns out to be popular with all age groups. That makes me feel good.


*** To purchase the printed book from Amazon, click on the book cover at the top of the page. It will take you to the information and sale page for Ben’s Challenge. ***

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