Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage

The Fourth Nephite
By Jeffrey S. Savage
Published by Deseret Book, August 2010

Reviewed by Heather Moore

A story of a Mormon teenager, Kaleo Steele, who is about to play the biggest football game of his high school career. College scouts will be in the stands, watching and deciding if Kaleo is good enough for a scholarship. But the night before the game, he gets invited to an after-school party, where some temptations seem too hard to resist. When his seminary teacher catches him doing something that jeopardizes Kaleo’s ability to play in the football game, they strike a bargain--a bargain that will change Kaleo's life in remarkable ways.

The Fourth Nephite gave me a fascinating insight into the life of the prophet Joseph Smith as a young man. When Kaleo enters a time portal and finds himself right in the middle of the controversy surrounding the unearthing of the gold plates, I was caught up in the vibrant word created by Savage. I found myself looking at the life of the prophet through different eyes, and thinking about the incredible courage he had. Some of Kaleo’s questions about the gospel have been mine at one time or another, and I loved the way that Savage unobtrusively guided the learning curve that Kaleo went through. Great research, an exciting plotline, and superb storytelling combine into a book worth every minute. I’m now reading it for a second time with my teens.

**Jeff Savage is the author of the YA Farworld series (under J. Scott Savage), as well as the Shandra Covington mystery series (under Jeffrey S. Savage). Visit his website HERE.