“Ideas define us: our past, our present, and, more importantly, our future”
With these words PW Cross closes the Epilogue on this charming story about seeking and finding fresh ideas as only children, untainted by the complexities of growing into adults, can discover. Though the book, apparently the first in a series, is written for 'age twelve' readers, the book is a very fine fable for adults as well.
Often when authors write for the young set they focus the book on explosive events, challenging conflicts, and wildly sci-fi type subject matter. But PW Cross instead has devised a tale placed in 1750 (the only apparent reason being that making a story about ideas from the vantage of the past can draw attention to the results of mining ideas that affect the future). Whatever the motivating factor, this story of a friendship between two lads, the bonding between a father and a son, and the use of a 'strange man' with spheres of light shared in a clever way leads to an adventure in a land populated by colorful (and respected) miners whose goal is to seek the big ideas (gushers). Where PW Cross keeps his adult readers hooked is his opening of windows of possibilities that provide a terrific nudge to reexamine our own pasts, remembering the little light spheres that represented the world of ideas that, had those ideas been pursued, each of our lives might have been more rewarding and exciting.
Far more than a fine children's book, this story invites further tales that magnify the thoughts suggested in this book. There is enough charm, adventure, and excitement in Cross's excellent writing to suggest this might just be another series worthy of a film + sequels!