Book Jacket


rank 5928
word count 13066
date submitted 23.02.2010
date updated 02.04.2010
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Young Ad...
classification: universal

A Knock on the Door

Amy Boaz

Intrepid sister-and-brother team Wanda and Tad decide it's time to follow clues to their father's disappearance--after three years as a Reserves soldier MIA in Iraq.


Signs are pointing to big trouble in Wanda and Tad's neighborhood of Forest Bend, Ohio. Three years into their father's disappearance as an IED specialist in Iraq, eleven-year-old Wanda and her younger brother, Tad, wonder if the signs are pointing to where their father might be.

Who has their distraught mother been secretly writing to? Why are their grandparents suddenly giving away their possessions as if in preparation for a Final Exit? Why has crusty, self-made Grandpa hidden from them his past in the backwoods mining town of Bluestone, Kentucky? What does Will, the wise Indian mail carrier, know about the recent spate of bad luck striking the neighborhood? And who--who!-- would have stolen Tad's Stonehenge model constructed lovingly out of Legos?

This is the year everything is set to happen to Wanda, a young violinist with a big vocabulary who misses her father desperately, and when her mother begins to make noises about getting remarried--to their fabulously rich uncle in west Texas!--the two children have to do some quick crusading of their own.

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family, fiddling, flight, humor, mia iraq, midwest usa, prisoner, suspense, texas ranch, underground railroad, war

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Melcom wrote 1547 days ago

I love mysteries and this is one of the best I've had the fortune of reading on the site. Love the fact that Wanda and Tad's set out to discover what happened to their father, especially at such a young vulnerable age.

Very nicely written, there is a nice flow to your writing.

Happily shelved
Impeding Justice

Burgio wrote 1549 days ago

This is an interesting mystery. You have good characters to work on this in Wanda and Tad. They’re both likable and sympathetic because they’ve lost their father and their mother is doing suspicious things. I think you’ll find a wide audience for this among schoolagers (will be a pleasant break for them away from the many witch, vampire and demon books out there). I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Patrick Xavier wrote 1609 days ago

Just when I thought I didn't want to see any more YA on my reading list, this one comes along. Best of luck Amy.

Sara "The Quest" wrote 1610 days ago

First I would suggest you use a spell-check program, there's really no excuse for spelling mistakes here. As for the rest, I believe tagging this as a Young Adult novel is unrealistic as the narrator is only 11 years old. Does she remain 11 for the rest of the novel or are these two chapters the only ones wherein she is that age? Young Adult fiction targets the 14-year-old to 20-year-old yet few 14-year-olds would pick up a book whose main character is younger than themselves. The writing is certainly not for a 10-year-old, I should think, so it's all rather confusing as far as who your audience is supposed to be. Finally, amateur mistakes such as the use of the cliche "fiery orange" to describe a woman's lipstick color is, well, amateur. Good luck anyway.

MarkRTrost wrote 1612 days ago

I enjoyed this. But I must ask - why are you pitching this as a YA novel? It's accomplished. And with a tweak here and there you could reach a larger market. Just curious. You know your work.

I think sometimes authors forget that their readers too.

Writer to writer - let me offer the best advice I can offer a colleague: take all your thoughts and characters and conversations and put them into the physical world. Want to hear if your dialogue is authentic? Listen to it. Have someone read it to you. Want to know if the action is realistic? Do it. Stand up and do the deed. Does it work? Want to know if your work is readable? Read it.

So, put yourself in the frame of mind of a reader. You’ve sat down. You’re cozy and comfy. You open the book.

You know, when you read your mind judges the length of the exposition. It’s as if we take small breaths at the beginning of a paragraph to prepare to forge in. Your paragraphs are too long. Break them up. It’s subconsciously exhausting to read lengthy paragraphs. Did you ever read Ulysses? OMG it’s the third greatest achievement in writing. (1. Bible. 2. Confessions - Saint Augustine) But it’s such a daunting task to read it! It’s work. And that’s why so many people don’t read it. Sometimes (and not always. But crawl into the mind of your market - kids) your paragraphs are too lengthy.

Just a tweak kid.

Mark R. Trost
“Post Marked.”

soutexmex wrote 1612 days ago

BACKING you. I can use your comments on my book if you can spare the time. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

lynn clayton wrote 1612 days ago

A sweet pitch - lego Stonehenge, gorgeous! Quite a change in YA to have protagonists who aren't dissaffected but in love with life and the people around them. Reminded me a bit of Laurie Lee.Excellent. backed. Lynn

Pia wrote 1613 days ago


A Knock on the Door - have now read all that's up here of this lively prose, enjoying it all. A touch reminiscent of Scout's voice in To Kill a Mockinbird. A similar wry look at adults through the eyes of Wanda. Richly drawn, the swelter of frustrated creativity in the children's mother with the father missing in action. I'd have read on. Pia

Francesco wrote 1613 days ago

Another deserving to be read piece of fine YA fiction!
A look at Sicilian Shadows would be greatly appreciated.

Pia wrote 1614 days ago


A Knock on the Door - excellent title. Your writing engaged me immediately. I'm just stopping to give that feedback and support your book on my shelf. I'll come back with more comments.
Ah, and welcome to authonomy.

Pia *Course of Mirrors*

amyboaz wrote 1614 days ago