Reviews

The Lighthouse Back Home Review: The Historical Fiction Company, December 2023

“Breaking news from the town of Salvation Point!” I stopped
and watched, expecting another dull report of a townwide
garage sale or a raffle to win a new outboard motor or ATV.
“We have shocking new details about the historic pirate treasure
discovered last year beside the Salvation Point Lighthouse in coastal
Maine. Historians and researchers have now determined that part
of the treasure is still missing after it was hidden by the legendary
pirate, Captain Cutlass, and his crew over three hundred years ago.
They believe priceless artifacts are contained in a small silver chest
inlaid with precious gemstones and 24-carat gold...”

In the mystical realm of storytelling, where time dissolves into a portal of intrigue, Jodi Auborn crafts a mesmerizing tale within the pages of "The Lighthouse Back Home." This riveting narrative, a sequel to the acclaimed "Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point," catapults young minds on an enthralling odyssey through time, beckoning both youthful hearts and seasoned souls into its richly woven tapestry of adventure.

Step foot into the captivating world of 11-year-old Dylan, a spirited denizen of the venerable lighthouse residing upon Salvation Point's serene Maine shores (which starts of by sounding like a Goonie's reference, a delight to those who are fans) Accompanied by his newfound companion, Alex, they embark on an exploration of a nearby island, unveiling ancient secrets submerged in the depths and hidden within the island's verdant woods. A chance encounter with a weathered ship's bell and an enigmatic skeletal relic propels them, unceremoniously, back to the epoch of 1893, thrusting them into
an era far removed from their own.

Hoofbeats woke me up late that night, the only sound
I heard. Even the crickets and ocean were silent. I looked
out my window at Lovely and the carriage in the driveway,
wondering what was going on.
Matthias and Mama’s dark shapes disappeared around the
corner of the house. I raced into Matthias’s room, watching
out his window as they continued to the edge of the cliff by
the lighthouse.
The ocean was like a mirror, reflecting the moon and
stars. I had never seen it so still. Matthias set down the lantern
he was carrying and Mama offered him flowers from
the bouquet she clutched to her chest. They stood at the cliff
with their heads lowered, then began tossing their flowers in
the water, one by one.
Mama’s shoulders began to shake as if she were crying.
Matthias put his arm around her and they stood together
staring out to sea for a long time.

The allure of the tale lies not merely in the temporal shift but in the labyrinthine intrigue that ensnares Dylan and Alex. Struggling to fathom their temporal displacement, they grapple with survival in an unfamiliar epoch while unraveling the mysteries that enshroud them. The quest to locate the elusive Matthias, an erstwhile comrade, becomes Dylan's pursuit, while Alex navigates the intricate facade of assuming a boy's identity. Their evolving camaraderie amidst the epoch's perils ignites a ceaseless cascade of adventures, propelling the narrative forward with relentless verve.

Auborn's narrative prowess shines through her evocative prose, breathing life into the tale's tapestry. Her artistry in crafting vivid descriptions and immersive dialogues weaves a captivating aura, birthing characters that resonate with depth and authenticity. The palpable tension, juxtaposed with moments of endearing levity, invigorates both protagonists and ancillary figures, ushering readers into an emotional investment with each persona's trials and triumphs.

Amongst the ensemble cast, Matthias, once a spectral apparition, now assumes corporeal form, bearing no recognition of Dylan amidst the temporal fabric. A poignant evolution unfurls as Matthias's initial aloofness gradually yields to a burgeoning fondness for the children, endowing the narrative with a poignant resonance. Mrs. MacMurray, Matthias's mother, provides a delightful contrast with her comedic interludes and unwavering benevolence toward the children, painting a colorful tableau of personalities that readers will cherish.

However, it is the resplendent tapestry of the overarching plot that elevates "The Lighthouse Back Home" to timeless allure. Auborn masterfully intertwines elements of adventure and mystery, crafting a narrative that unfurls with gripping intensity while nurturing character growth in the crucible of adversity. The narrative's relentless pace, interwoven with the ominous presence of a treacherous local family discovering their secret, ensnares readers in a tapestry of suspense and resilience.

“I’m a rich man...I won this in a poker game in Tahiti.”
“You did not!” I said. “You stole it! We heard your family
talking about it in the house...it’s part of Captain Cutlass’s
treasure! It’s been in your family since Cutlass was killed!”
“Aw, where’d you get that idea? Better be careful what you
blab around, boy. Folks who know too much have a way of...
disappearing.” He chuckled and flicked my nose with his big
dirty finger. “Now, come back out to the table, both of you.
There ain’t nothin’ more in here you need to see.”

"The Lighthouse Back Home" stands as a testament to the narrative prowess of Jodi Auborn, a beacon guiding readers through a labyrinth of time and imagination. Its kaleidoscopic fusion of exceptional characters and a spellbinding plot serves as an exemplar for young readers, an evocative invitation into the realms of mystery and adventure. To those seeking a literary voyage resonating with both youthful ardor and seasoned sagacity, Auborn's opus beckons, promising an odyssey that transcends temporal bounds.

Quill's verdict heralds this work as an exemplary tome for the young, a harbinger of captivating tales woven with meticulous artistry. "The Lighthouse Back Home" unfurls its narrative tapestry, inviting young minds to partake in the timeless allure of a gripping mystery, fostering a love for storytelling that traverses generations. It stands as a literary treasure trove, inviting readers to embark on an enthralling journey destined to endure in the annals of cherished tales.
*****
“The Lighthouse Back Home” by Jodi Auborn receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company

The Lighthouse Back Home (Secrets of Salvation Point)

By: Jodi L. Auborn
Publication Date: October 18, 2023
ISBN: 979-8856244273
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: November 20, 2023

The Lighthouse Back Home is a fabulous time-travel adventure story for young adults and this author has hit a home run. The book is the sequel to Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point (which I immediately bought and read because I loved this one so much) and it is, if possible, an even better book than the first, with excellent characters and a great history packed into the travel back in time plot. I would highly recommend this book to anyone ages 9 to 12 and, to be honest, to any adults out there. It is just that good!

The Lighthouse Back Home is the story of 11-year-old Dylan, who lives in the lighthouse on Salvation Point in Maine. Dylan, along with his new friend Alex, are exploring an island nearby where they find a very old ship’s bell in the water and then a skeleton in the woods. As they quickly try to get off the island to contact the police, this bell ends up sending them back to the year 1893 when their boat capsizes. From there, the adventure begins as they attempt to figure out where they are and how to survive long enough to find a way back to their own time. With Dylan trying to find the real Matthias, who is an old friend, and Alex trying to pretend to be a boy, the fun never stops as they attempt to figure out all of the mystery surrounding them. The action goes from page to page and never stops. As the two, along with new friends, try to handle a deadly storm, a whole new world they do not understand, and solve the mystery of how they got there the reader can see them grow and develop as people. Added to all of this, there is a creepy and dangerous local family who discovers their secret. Even with all of this happening, these kids never give up and it keeps the reader riveted.

The Lighthouse Back Home is such a fun story. Author Jodi Auborn brings these characters to life with her amazing descriptive writing and the excellent dialogue that really develops both the characters and the plot to a whole new level. This mystery will entertain both children and adults as Dylan and Alex face danger and complications that we can only dream of in our imagination. While Dylan and Alex are both excellent characters, the secondary ones in the story are just as fabulous. We get to see Matthias, the ghost from the first novel, who is now a real, living person. But now, in his own time, he does not know who Dylan is and really does not want the kids around him at all. But we see that change as he begins to honestly care for them (and this really adds a nice touch to the story). Then there is Mrs. MacMurray, Matthias' mother, who is so funny as she takes the children in and tries to help them, all the while arguing with Matthias and trying to force good manners on the rude sailors at the dock. And there are so many more great characters. Each one is written perfectly and you cannot help but love them all.

While the characters, each and every one, really bring this story to life it is the overall plot that keeps it going strong. It is adventure and mystery at its finest and will be a book that is, I am sure, loved by all. Everyone out there, child and adult, should get their hands on a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed.

Quill says: The Lighthouse Back Home is a perfect example of a book for young readers that involves an excellent plot and great characters. It is a wonderful way to introduce younger readers to the elements of a great mystery story that will, hopefully, keep them reading long into the future.

 

Reader's Favorite: The Lighthouse Back Home

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Lighthouse Back Home is a time-travel adventure mystery novel by Jodi L. Auborn. Eleven-year-old Dylan Flint loves nothing more than sailing on his boat, Thunder, with his best friend, Alex. But after the two youngsters stumble across a mysterious bell, they suddenly find themselves in 1893, where they meet Dylan's old ghost friend and Salvation Point Lighthouse keeper, Matthias MacMurray, in the flesh. Oblivious of his future self as a ghost, Matthias reluctantly agrees to his mother's wishes and shelters the kids. However, the MacMurray family soon learns about their extraordinary travels. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones who know Dylan and Alex's secret. Meanwhile, they befriend the cabin boy of a sailing ship whose nemesis will soon cross their path. Will Dylan and Alex be able to return home?

Jodi L. Auborn cooks up a delicious mystery with just a touch of the fantastical that is bound to entertain kids and young adults alike. The Lighthouse Back Home continues the tales of Dylan and Matthias as these adventurous characters face new challenges and dangers. Although a sequel, the book also functions seamlessly as a standalone. Keeping a brisk pace, Auborn weaves a captivating yarn of mystery, adventure, and action that keeps pulling you into the story the further you read. It's the characters who make the narrative so engrossing. Dylan, Alex, Matthias, Isaac, and even Mama are some delightfully wholesome personalities you actually want to spend time with. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Dylan and Alex and their commitment to helping Isaac. Overall, this is a fantastic book for adventure mystery fans and readers who enjoy stories featuring time travel.  Book review of The Lighthouse Back Home - Readers' Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest (readersfavorite.com)

 

Reader's Favorite: The Lighthouse Back Home

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Reader's Favorite

Eleven-year-old best friends Dylan and Alexandria, or Alex, went to explore Rat Island on Dylan's sailboat, Thunder, after hearing news about a lost pirate treasure. There, they found a skeleton with a small hole in the head and an old ship's bell. On their way back home to the town of Salvation Point, something went wrong. The children heard an unusual sound and noticed that the familiar dock was gone. Also, sailboats of all types came into view instead of modern ones. People were wearing old-fashioned clothes, horse-drawn carriages were everywhere, and the kids couldn't buy anything with the money they had. Somehow, Dylan and Alex found themselves in 1893 and could only hope for Dylan's old friend, Matthias, to arrive. But will Matthias, a down-to-earth lighthouse keeper, believe their fantastic story about time travel? The Lighthouse Back Home by Jodi L. Auborn, the second book in a series, is a captivating read for children from 9 years of age and all those who enjoy a good adventure.

In The Lighthouse Back Home, Jodi L. Auborn provides us with a well-researched historical background. The author describes the views and customs of the end of the nineteenth century in a confident and humorous manner. It is impossible not to smile while reading about Matilda MacMurray's attempts to instill good manners in rude sailors or to find a suitable match for her grumpy son, Matthias. Overall, Matilda, or Mama, is a character to remember. Her tender, loving nature doesn't prevent her from defending herself with a gun if necessary. Dylan and Alex are wonderful characters, too. Both are brave and quick-witted in the face of danger. They do not hesitate to risk their lives for each other or their friends. The Lighthouse Back Home is a coming-of-age story with believable development of the main characters. I liked the adventurous aspect of the book and its dynamic narrative. The eventful final chapters are very engaging, and the outcome of the main storyline offers us many surprises. Readers who love the adventures of the great Mark Twain will enjoy The Lighthouse Back Home as well.  Book review of The Lighthouse Back Home - Readers' Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest (readersfavorite.com)

 

Reader's Favorite: The Lighthouse Back Home

Reviewed by Afifa Raisa for Reader's Favorite

The Lighthouse Back Home by Jodi L. Auborn is narrated by Dylan, an eleven-year-old boy living with his family in a lighthouse in Maine. While exploring a nearby island with his friend Alex, he makes a couple of exciting discoveries - a ship’s bell from 1869 and a human skeleton. The mysterious bell transports the two children back in time, where they meet Mathias, the lighthouse keeper whose ghost had been friends with Dylan the previous year. Mathias and his mother, Mama, continue caring for them while the two friends try to figure out a way to get back home. With challenges heading their way one after another, they must be brave, smart, and determined to reach their goal.

Jodi L. Auborn’s The Lighthouse Back Home grabbed my attention immediately with its interesting start. Jodi took time to build the setting and the characters, and thus let the story settle deeper into my mind. While reading the last few pages, I could, in fact, feel a strange sense of sadness envelop me. I loved the main characters, especially Mama. While she is strict when it comes to religion and what she believes is the right way to behave, she has a tender and nurturing nature that makes her truly admirable. I feel that Jodi did a good job in portraying Alex and Dylan as kids who are in a stage between childhood and puberty; they appear natural and believable throughout the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a slow-paced adventurous story.  Book review of The Lighthouse Back Home - Readers' Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest (readersfavorite.com)

 

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
10th October 2023
TITLE: The Lighthouse Back Home
AUTHOR: Jodi Auborn
Star Rating: 5
CATCHY QUOTE
‘A thrilling, time-travelling adventure from the talented pen of Jodi Auborn. Highly recommended!’ The Wishing Shelf
REVIEW
I must say, I very much enjoyed this time travelling/historical novel written by Jodi Auborn. Not only is it cleverly plotted, but the two central characters, Alex and Dylan, are fun to get to know and are the perfect protagonists for middle grade readers to root for.
So, what's it about? Well, in a nutshell, when Alex and Dylan discover a skeleton, they end up being whisked back in time to the late 1800s. What follows is a twisting, turning adventure, the two children trying to fit into a world that's very different from what they know. There's also plenty of tantalising secrets for them to uncover, a superbly described ‘killer’ storm, and, underlying everything, the thought of possibly never returning home.
There were many aspects to this novel I particular enjoyed. Firstly, I liked the pacing; there's never a dull moment, with a
surprise in every chapter. Secondly, the author’s excellent at developing suspense, which is a skill lots of children readers will love. Thirdly, there's plenty of speech, the author successfully using it to develop her characters and plot.
To sum up, I'm very happy to recommend this novel to 9 - 12 year olds. I think they'll enjoy getting to know Alex (who's a girl by the way) and Dylan, and they’ll love following them on this non-stop adventure. All in all, it’s a bit of a gem!
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
www.thewsa.co.uk

 

Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and full of adventure

Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2023

Jodi Auborn writes a middle-grade paranormal tale with Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point. I haven't read anything by this author before, and what a hidden gem. I enjoyed it so much, that I have now followed the author and look for more books to read. The reader is introduced to ten-year-old Dylan, and he is so excited that his family inherited an old lighthouse and a cottage, a place they can spend their summers. What could be more cooler than that? Dylan becomes quite the explorer by sailing, and searching the intricacies of the lighthouse. There was a pirate legend of a buried treasure. Then, he meets Matthias. A ghost who is residing in Dylan's bedroom. They become friends, and then realize, others may want to get their hands on that treasure as well. So, they because a team of detectives to investigate and protect their home. This author brings the story to life. The characters are so real, it's like being with them within the story. Dylan is not your typical 10 year old, but he's still a kid, an acts like one, and that's what makes this story work. The story brings in the believable, even if almost impossible. A genuine character driven story! Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf

 

Reviewed by Mary Lanni for MaryLanniReads, 6/14/2022  Mary R. Lanni’s review of Stormwind of the North Country (goodreads.com)

It is the summer before ninth grade, but fourteen-year-old Kat Normith has bigger things on her mind than high school. She loves living out in the country with her dad and younger brother, and she especially loves horses. Unfortunately, their neighbor is notorious for her mistreatment of her own horses, and Kat is determined to rescue her favorite horse Stormwind from her neighbor’s clutches. At the same time, Kat’s father has invited his young girlfriend to stay with them for the summer, and she is not all she seems. Kat is overwhelmed by the lies and deception surrounding her, and she decides to run away in order to help her father see the truth. This early young adult novel is a fit for readers who enjoy nature and horses, especially those with a passion for animal activism. Though the book gets off to a rocky start, it finds its strength in the descriptions of Kat’s travels through the woods on her way from upstate New York to Canada. Written much like a diary might unfold, readers are given a first-hand look into Kat’s feelings and experiences as she travels and overcomes obstacles along the way. Readers should be aware that there are mentions of both animal and human cruelty within the novel in case readers are sensitive to descriptions of those things. Many of the characters in the story exhibit impulsive behavior, but it is not always the youth who find themselves in this situation. As Kat comes into her own as a young woman, she discovers that adults are not infallible, and everyone must recognize their own shortcomings in order to find balance in their lives. This book is well suited to young adult readers who enjoy horses and adventures in the great outdoors.

 

 

 

Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite, 2/7/2021 

Katherine (“Kat”) Normith is a 14-year-old girl who sees a beautiful horse, Stormwind, being abused by its owner, a vicious woman named Lorraine Stillwater. This lady is not only brutally neglectful of Stormwind and the other horses at her riding stables, but she is downright criminally dangerous with her uncontrollable temper and her conviction that her grandson needs to be constantly beaten within an inch of his life in order to, in her way of thinking, make a man out of him. Meanwhile, Kat’s dad, a middle-aged rock band leader, falls for Lavina, a beautiful but scheming young woman who sees Luke Normith as the means to her own nefarious business ends. Kat sees right through Lavina, but Kat’s dad is blinded by his infatuation with Lavina and will not listen to Kat’s entreaties. To get away from all this, Kat runs away from home during the summer, riding Stormwind, who is pregnant with foal. As might be expected for a young girl alone in the deep forest, Kat soon runs into trouble, as she and Stormwind barely survive a deep-river crossing. Kat soon meets Randy, however, who adopts a protective love for Kat, and she, for him. Together, they must defend themselves against unredeemed ex-con Vito, who is determined to steal Stormwind and her foal for himself and sell them.

Stormwind of the North Country by Jodi L. Auborn richly deserves its 5-star rating, as this novel sets a new standard for girl-and-her-horse stories. It will be hard for other novelists to come close to matching this tale for pure adventure, overwhelming suspense, and sheer page-turning ability. I thoroughly enjoyed Stormwind of the North Country by Jodi Auborn for a variety of reasons. It was well-written from a grammatical standpoint, thus making for a smooth and easy read. The straightforward plotlines are absolutely gripping from the first page onward and right up to the very end. The reader is going to be hard-pressed to put this book down! A legitimate 5-star read here and a great story for teens and adults alike. I have read a thousand or more novels over the course of a half-century, and I would rank this story as being among the top ten novels that I have ever read.

 

Reviewed by Mary Lanni, for MaryLanniReads, 6/14/2022  Mary R. Lanni’s review of Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point (goodreads.com)

It is the summer after fourth grade and ten-year-old Dylan and his family have been in the car for hours traveling from New York City to Salvation Point, Maine. Dylan’s father has inherited an old cabin from his uncle that is situated at the base of a lighthouse, and the cabin comes with more than just some old cobwebs and dusty knickknacks. The cabin is said to be haunted, and Dylan and his family discover the truth behind that rumor first-hand. As they navigate the mysterious events taking place around them, the family must simultaneously protect their land from villains who would choose to destroy it for their own personal gains. This fast-paced middle grade novel appears as a ghost story at first glance, but it is truly more of a human tale of redemption and self-discovery. Unlike a typical ghost story, there are few moments of shock or horror within the book; instead, Matthias is a fixture of the narrative almost from the very beginning. Dylan and his family do not have the same interactions with Matthias, but he is an important element in the transformation Dylan undergoes that summer. Because the chapters are long and the text is small and close together, this book is best suited to more confident middle grade readers. Scenes of action and a compelling relationship between Matthias and Dylan keep readers engaged throughout the book, and the well-rounded nature of the story is satisfying for all. Middle grade readers with an interest in human-centered tales that incorporate ghosts, pirate treasure, and more than a little excitement will appreciate getting to know Dylan and his adventures through this charming book.

https://thenakedreviewers.com/index.php/2019/07/18/matthias- the-ghost-of-salvation-point-by-jodi-auborn/

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi Auborn

July 18, 2019

Karen Meyer's Review: 5-Stars

What a fun book! Thank you, Jodi, for my few hours of entertainment. What kid (or adult) wouldn’t enjoy this delightful ghost story and the hero ghost named Matthias. I was so involved I forgot to check for grammar, but nothing slapped me in the face. I found no misspelled words or major grammatical fiascos. But then when I read a book as well written and exciting as this one, grammar is the last thing I think about. If I had anything I would change about it, I would not have the parents so divided on their parenting skills. I don’t like that the dad favors the son, Dylan, over his wife. But I do know there are lots of families like this.

Your Prologue sets the tone for your story well and makes the reader want to read further. Matthias is a very likable young man and was perfect for the part of Hero Ghost Extraordinaire. Dylan was a typical 4th grader and his feeling that his 15-year-old sister, Alondra was “the most boring person” he knew was a good description. She was a very exhausting teenager who like most teenagers these days, needs to be entertained. She did come around in the last chapter to show her love and concern for her little brother.

The protagonists Quint and Sleeter (I probably would have called him Skeeter) were portrayed as meaner than I expected. I didn’t think they would stoop to murder, but you did a good job on them.

I loved the friendship between Dylan and Matthias. The fact that Matthias would decide his friend’s life was more important than any reprimand he might get from his superiors.

I loved how Matthias was “set free” as the family decided to live in at Salvation Point and man the lighthouse. It also seemed like his whole reason for staying was to save Dylan’s life. Good storyline, good ending, I will give this 5 stars.

Sherry Terri's Review: 5-Stars

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi Auborn is a great read! I absolutely love the cover. It’s filled with great color and has everything you need for a good young middle-grade ghost story.

This story is told from a 10-year-old boy, Dylan’s point of view and Jodi Auborn has done a splendid job with the character. My favorite character of the story is Matthias himself. He’s a great ghost and Jodi did a wonderful job of putting him in the story. I don’t want to give anything away, but Dylan and Matthias go on a dangerous adventure that you won’t want to miss.

Jodi is one of the best authors I’ve read with setting descriptions and characterization. I now want to visit a lighthouse in Maine. All of the characters are well-rounded, individual, and feel like they are real. The only thing my editor’s brain found distracting was the all caps for shouting and loud noises.

I highly recommend this book for children and adults. I loved reading Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi Auborn.

9-Year-Old Madi’s Review: 5-Stars

Best book ever. I read this to my 5-year-old little brother and he liked it too.

I was able to read this by myself  mostly, and the ghost was so funny. I want to live in a lighthouse, that would be awesome after I read Dylan’s descriptions. I was scared when Dylan and the ghost got into a battle with the man looking for pirate treasure.

I love this book.

 

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi Auborn

 

May 20, 2019


Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi Auborn
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (197 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe - http://www.longandshortreviews.com/book-reviews/matthias-the-ghost-of-salvation-point-by-jodi-auborn/

There’s nothing like spending the summer in a haunted cottage.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story was how much attention it paid to Matthias’ personality. Just like the living, he didn’t react the same way to everyone he met. Some people got along with him well, while others saw a scarier side to his personality. There were reasons for these shifts that were explained in the plot, but I appreciated the fact that the resident ghost developed individual relationships with every person who crossed his path. It made me even more curious to see why he’d stuck around after death and what would happen to him in the end.

There was a small plot hole involving how much Dylan’s dad knew about the famous ghost in his hometown that I wish had been explained better. Some scenes made it seem as though the dad knew almost nothing about this piece of folklore despite spending his whole childhood in the tiny town of Salvation Point. Other scenes appeared to hint that he knew far more than Dylan realized. While this wasn’t something that I spent too much time worrying about, it would have been nice to know for sure what the dad knew, when he knew it, and why he stayed so quiet at first about the paranormal rumors about the cottage they were staying at.

Dylan was such a likable kid. He assumed the best in just about everyone he met, and he did a wonderful job of entertaining him in what was a pretty isolated, quiet place to stay for a family who had two active kids. While he definitely had his share of flaws, I appreciated the fact that they were balanced out with so many positive character traits. He’s definitely someone I’d want to explore a haunted house with.

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point was a friendly paranormal tale that I’d recommend to kids and adults alike.

 

My Ten-Acre Wilderness: A Misfit Girl's Quest for Home

Five-Star Review of "My Ten-Acre Wilderness" at https://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/my-ten-acre-wilderness-a-misfit-girls-quest-for-home-by-jodi-l-auborn-author-interview/

Reviewed by: Sierra, for "A Simple Taste For Reading."

I would first like to thank the author for sharing her story with me and taking the time for an interview as well!  Author Jodi Auborn opens up a piece of her life to us in her book “My Ten-Acre Wilderness”.  A piece of her life that shaped her into who she is today, put into words with a few photographs along the way.

In her book, Jodi claims that she knew she was an unusual child, one who had dreams of owning a horse to call her own and living out in the wilderness.  This is what drew me to her story.  I think many children growing up had the same hopes and dreams, Jodi on the other hand got to live some of them.

When she is around ten years old, Jodi’s parents build their very own log cabin in the Adirondack forest.  Her story follows as she explores her new home and the trails around it.  She shares with us her experiences with many pets, which I loved as I love animals as well!  As well as a few hardships she faced along the way.

Her story made me look back at my memories from my childhood and reflect on them.  Camping trips, being outdoors, vacations….only she puts her memories into words to share with readers.  The book isn’t long, which makes it a nice read and her way of writing is fantastic!  You get a glimpse into her childhood as well a reflect upon on your own past and what has shaped us to become who we are today.

Jodi also has published a children’s chapter book as well called “Matthais: The Ghost of Salvation Point” among a few others.

 

My Ten-Acre Wilderness: A Misfit Girl's Quest for Home 

Five-Star Review of "My Ten-Acre Wilderness" at: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/my-ten-acre-wilderness

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

My Ten-Acre Wilderness: A Misfit Girl's Quest for Home is a memoir by Jodi L. Auborn. It covers her life from childhood to college in upstate New York in the 80s and 90s and follows her to Cape Cod and Maine. An epilogue brings her life’s story into the 2000s. Filled with the sights, sounds, and emotions of her childhood and young adulthood, it describes both those memories that made her life very special and the experiences that brought feelings of deep anxiety, sadness, and aloneness. Most of all, this is the story of Auborn’s yearning for a place to call her own and the path that leads her home.

I enjoyed reading My Ten-Acre Wilderness. The narrative is flowing, impeccably detailed, beautifully descriptive, and emotionally evocative. You see what Auborn saw and feel what she felt, both the uplifting and the uncomfortable. The narrative moves along at a good pace, and the story has meaning that is relevant to readers on many levels, like her love of horses, pets, music, writing, art, and boating; family vacations spent camping and fishing; the breakup of her parents’ marriage; her feelings of being different from her classmates as she struggled with athletic and social awkwardness and a learning disability; and her inner attraction to solitude, secret places, and the woods.

In My Ten-Acre Wilderness, Auborn gently draws you into her life and her heart, adding a sprinkling of photographs and poetry to capture the reality and the emotions of her younger years, from her outer search for Place to her inner search for Self. “Instead of dreaming about romance,” she writes of her high school years, “I dreamed of adventure. I wanted to ride a horse across the United States. I wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. I wanted to live on a boat for a few years. But most of all, I wanted an independent life in the woods… with dogs and cats and horses all over the place.” An entertaining and engaging read.

My Ten-Acre Wilderness: A Misfit Girl's Quest for Home

By: Jodi Auborn
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: September 2017
ISBN: 978-1723097515
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: November 9, 2018

A coming-of-age memoir by a sensitive, talented woman, My Ten-Acre Wilderness takes us back to simpler, more natural values.

Jodi Auborn was the only child of parents who were, in their own ways, nonconformists. Early on she learned that she could not have certain small luxuries because the family values involved thrift and hard work. She learned to get along with wild animals – rabbits, a ferret, even frogs – for pets, and the outdoors as her private haven. The first time she truly recognized a sense of belonging was in the midst of a dark stormy night, at her grandparent’s house in Ticonderoga, New York where vintage Christmas ornaments gave a feeling of security while the snowstorm outside called to her adventurous inclinations. When she was ten, the family constructed and moved into a log cabin in the woods of the Adirondacks. After much wishing, she finally got a dog, and at age twelve, a horse, Sally. With Sally she explored the forest with its derelict houses, abandoned trailers, a favorite pond and farmers’ fields. Because physical and mental deficits made it hard for her to socialize well at school, her close friends were few. The outdoors became her refuge: “It was better than any playground; it was my own world.” As an adult she remained restless, living a nature-centered existence that kept her close to the north woods and waters.

Auborn’s writing talents were and are her saving grace. From an early age, perhaps in response to her marked differentness from her peers, she began keeping a journal and writing short stories symbolic of happenings in her life. Over several iterations, she wrote a novel about her alter ego, a bold girl named Kat who could freely do what Auborn was forbidden or too shy to do. She also composed poetry. Her girlhood poems and diary entries form part of the memoir, remarkable for their maturity and insight.

When Auborn grew up, her first novel about Kat was published, its title, Stormwind of the North Country, redolent of that early revelation at her grandparents’ home. That book and a sequel are designed for teen readers, while a third offering, Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point, written to honor her father, is targeted to middle-grade readers. Her writing is skillful and secure, putting the reader in the places she has explored. My Ten-Acre Wilderness is peppered with photographs of those places and the people and animals she loved. In an especially poignant scene she recalls her return to the abandoned cabin of her idyllic childhood; there in the ruins she struggled with bleeding fingers to extract the “time capsule” notes she and her father had composed and hidden there years before.

Quill says: Today Auborn works guiding campers, and lives quietly content in a 1930s vintage cottage near her childhood home. She has garnered a devoted readership and will doubtless gather more fans with these moving recollections.

 

Bethanie's Books - Reviews and Faves at: https://bethaniesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/matthias-the-ghost-of-salvation-point-by-jodi-auborn-review-by-bethanie/

December 29, 2015

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point

By: Jodi Auborn

Genre: Middle School  Mystery Thriller

I love mysteries, especially those that have ghosts in them. I must say that this is one of the best I have read this year. Considering this year is almost over, I would have to say that is really big. Another Bethanie’s Fave has been found. Ms. Auborn has brought to us a timeless story that brings the beauty of Maine into it. Lighthouses have always had a mystery to them, in my opinion, and Ms. Auborn’s story has brought this to life.

What makes it another reason for being a fave is the star is a young boy. She brought the natural boy curiosity to the table in this book. Tell me one boy who wouldn’t want to know of a secret treasure found in the backyard of his summer home next to a lighthouse in Maine. Better yet how about finding your best friend in the ghost that is the keeper of the lighthouse.

I am a southern girl, myself. Born and raised in the state of Alabama. I have always wanted to visit Maine and to see its timeless beauty for myself. This book allowed me to somewhat take myself there. I could imagine being the one who discovered the ghost. I could also imagine becoming friends with him. I can also imagine being the mother or the daughter wanting to just go back home, and the Father just trying to bring his small town where he grew up back to the place it once was.

I love the many aspects in this story. Although most that try to put a lot into their book can’t really bring it together in a good reading flow, Ms. Auborn was definitely able to bring everything together and make it flow perfectly for the reader. There is a ghost story, a treasure hunt, a kidnapping, and yet it all fits together like a beautiful puzzle.

I am so impressed by this author that I plan to get her other books and read them. I also hope that she continues this particular mystery type. Adventure is always fun and exciting. Throw a couple of thrilling moments in it and you have a rather, well-written book. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would.

Thank you Ms. Auborn for sharing your book with me! Happy Reading!!

~Bethanie

 

Five-Star Review of "Matthias" at: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/matthias  

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

Dylan Flint is excited about spending the summer at the lighthouse cottage his family just inherited from Uncle Zack, located on the coast of Maine. With his own sailboat and a keen interest in the history of the area, Dylan is the perfect person to appreciate everything the place has to offer – even its own resident ghost! In Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi L. Auborn, Matthias is a former lighthouse keeper who still performs his duties. He becomes Dylan’s best friend and helps him through a number of issues that come up, like keeping away from some very bad men convinced that the lighthouse hides a pirate’s treasure. Unfortunately, Dylan’s mom does not believe in ghosts and thinks Dylan needs to get away from the island; but his dad understands that something special is going on. Unlike his sister Alondra, who can’t wait to get out of Salvation Point, Dylan knows that this is exactly where he belongs. Along with the family inheriting the house, Dylan has inherited his uncle’s love of the sea, the lighthouse and everything nature - and the supernatural – has to offer.

Maine’s small town charm as well as the beauty and ruggedness of the coast are clearly and lovingly depicted in Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point by Jodi L. Auborn. In this unique story of friendship between a ghost and a young boy, the history of lighthouses and the lure of pirate treasure are brought to life as a family struggles with the choice of returning to a simpler time or enjoying the benefits of life in the big city. Well written and quite enjoyable, children of all ages can learn something about a period of American life as well as what’s in their own hearts as they read Dylan’s story.

 

An excellent review of "Matthias" at Feathered Quill Book Reviews: http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/teen/auborn2.shtml:

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point

By: Jodi Auborn
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: December 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4993-2123-4
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 3, 2015

Who would think a hundred-year-old ghost and a child in the present-day world would team up to stop a treasure hunter who is desperate to uncover a pirate legend and line their greedy pockets with fortune? Well...it can happen. And it has happened because of the extremely creative and fun mind of Jodi Auborn.

Everyone loves the Indiana Jones world, as well as the pirate kingdom; by adding a ghost into the mix, this plot becomes sheer perfection that will appeal to all sorts of readers.

In 1913, there were lighthouse keepers on our planet. There was no automation at that time to shine the light that let brave sailors see the rocky, jagged cliffs that would take down their boat in seconds. In Salvation Point, Maine, Matthias is one of those keepers. As a young boy, he had watched his father be taken from him by Mother Nature's storm, and he took over the job of lighthouse keeper to make sure that no one ever met that same horrible fate. He worked long and hard, waking up at all hours to trim the wicks before heading to the cottage and sitting with his calico cat. Unfortunately, his fate would end up being as heartbreaking as his loving father's...

Fast forward to a young man in 2013. Dylan is beyond excited for the family trip to Salvation Point. This small town with less than a thousand people in it, will be his host for the summer. His father has actually inherited a house from his Uncle Zack - who, for the most part, was a hermit during his lifetime. Uncle Zack had been the owner of a real lighthouse, with cottage, and Dylan is ecstatic to see it.

Dylan doesn't miss his home in New York City a bit; he spends his time roaming the small town and gets hooked on some pretty wild tales about pirate treasure - legends that are a true part of Salvation Point. But that's not all that amazes Dylan. He will soon discover a man named Matthias living in his bedroom. This is not just any man, this is a ghost - an old lighthouse keeper who speaks in gruff grunts, but soon teams up with the boy in order to stop a pretty villainous cad who's out to get wealthy, even if kidnapping is something that has to be done.

The fun; the imagination; the thrills and adventure - Matthias is a work that all readers - no matter what the age - will want to read. This is an escape, a creative escape. If you are a senior citizen who loves to feel like a kid again; or, you are a kid who thrives on the unknown, this book is for you.

Quill says: An A+ for this author. One of the very few books you keep on your shelf to read again and again when the need for adventure 'calls.'      

 

My first review of "Stormwind" on Amazon.com:

 

 Great Get Away Read, May 6, 2009

By theresa zacharenko "norton645" - See all my reviewsThis book is a great read. I purchased it as a quick read (186 pages) for a week in the mountains. It was a quick read, I finished it in 48 hours. The story intrigued me with the opening chapter and kept my interest with every turn of the page. Ms Auborn's knowledge of horses and the rural living in the Adirondack Mts. could only come from real life experiences. The book closes with the heroine Kat sitting on her porch looking at the blooming Tiger Lilies. My ending was similar finishing this delightful book on my porch overlooking the Tiger lilies. A must read for ages 12-65.

 

Review of "Stormwind" at www.TeensReadToo.com
STORMWIND OF THE NORTH COUNTRY by Jodi Auborn
Category: Contemporary
Age Recommendation: Grades 6+
Release Date: 4/13/09
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
Rating: 4 Stars


Fourteen-year-old Kat is used to her independence. She and her younger brother have been raised by their father. She thinks of her mother, who died when Kat was only five, as a sort of guardian angel.

Kat has always loved horses. Since they can’t afford to have one living in their own barn, she spends time at a stables owned by Lorraine Stillwater. Stillwater doesn’t take care of her horses at all. In fact, the animals live in filth and are abused on a regular basis. When the story begins, Kat is headed to Stillwater’s stable to purchase a white horse named Stormwind. Much to her horror and disappointment, the nasty stable owner tells her $200 is no longer the price. Instead she wants $1,000 or she will be selling the horse to a slaughterhouse.

Kat is furious. She has witnessed the terrible treatment and horrible living conditions for the last time. She steals Stormwind and attempts to hide him on their property. When her father discovers the theft, he demands that she return the horse and won’t listen to Kat’s stories about neglect and abuse.

Just a few days later, Kat is passing Stillwater’s property and hears a commotion. What she sees fires her up all over again. Stillwater is beating the horse in her attempt to get it into the transport trailer headed to the slaughterhouse. Once again, Kat steps forward and takes the horse. With the helpful distraction of the driver from the slaughterhouse, she rides away on Stormwind. This time when her father sees the evidence of the beating, he agrees that the horse should stay with them.

In the meantime, Kat and her brother are shocked to find out that their young father has decided to invite a woman to their home for the summer. He met Lavina at one of the performances of his music group, and evidently he has fallen in love. Lavina is not a country girl, and she doesn’t seem interested in fitting in at all. In fact, when Kat and her brother take the opportunity to snoop through her belongings, they believe she might actually be a real estate agent intent on getting their father to sell her his property.

The real action begins when Kat comes up with a plan. She tells her brother that she plans to run away and follow an old abandoned route from their home into Canada. The idea is that when her father discovers she is missing, he will become involved in looking for her and Lavina will leave.

Kat’s journey into the wilderness riding on a pregnant Stormwind takes her into one crisis situation after another. In addition to crossing rapids, dealing with scavenging raccoons, and creating a shelter to weather storms, Kat meets Randy, another teen looking for answers in the deep woods.

STORMWIND OF THE NORTH COUNTRY is unique in that author Jodi Auborn uses a female protagonist in the role of wilderness survivor. Readers looking for a girl action figure will be satisfied with this read, despite the sometimes unpredictable prose.

Review at www.FeatheredQuill.com:
Stormwind of the North Country

By: Jodi Auborn
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Publication Date: April 2009
ISBN: 978-1607493358
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 25, 2010

Katherine Normith, or Kat to her friends, is one very determined fourteen-year-old. She knows what she wants, and even if the adults around her tell her it’s impossible, young Kat will find a way to make it happen. That’s just what she did to save a beloved horse, Stormwind.

Kat had been taking riding lessons at a farm down the road from her house for several years. She hated the farm, and the farm’s owner, Lorraine Stillwater, a cruel woman who abuses her horses. But if Kat didn’t come and take care of the horses (mucks stalls, brush the horses, etc.), who would? There are several neglected horses on the property, including Kat’s favorite, a pretty Arabian mare named Stormwind that only she can ride.

As the story opens, Kat is headed to Stillwater’s place to buy Stormwind. But the spiteful woman refuses to sell the mare, instead telling Kat that Stormwind is headed to the slaughterhouse. In desperation, Kat sneaks out at night and steals the horse.

When Kat’s father, Luke, finds out what his daughter has done, he’s quite upset. To make matters worse, he never gave Kat permission to buy the horse. When she had asked, he was deep in thought concentrating on his new long distance girlfriend and had mumbled a reply without realizing what his daughter was asking. Kat is forced to return Stormwind to Stillwater’s farm.

In a startling turn of events, Kat soon finds herself the owner of her beloved horse. Life should be good but then Luke’s new girlfriend, Lavina, arrives. A city woman who is very out of place in the country, Lavina has ulterior motives, which Kat soon discovers. She tries to talk to her father, but Luke is too in love to listen to his daughter. In protest, Kat runs away, taking Stormwind and her dog Hesperus for protection.

Kat heads into the deep woods of the Adirondack Mountains. Along with many thrilling, and frightening adventures, she meets a mysterious boy, Randy. Realizing they truly need each other to survive what nature, and man, throws at them, they soon become friends.

Stormwind of the North Country is an endearing story about a teen who is struggling to find herself and her place in the world. There is plenty of horse action in the first half of the story but it slowly takes a back seat to the relationship between Kat and Randy, as well as Kat, her dad, and Lavina. If you’re looking for a book that is all “horse,” this may not be the right book. But if you want a story where the protagonist is a very strong, self-assured female, take a look at this tale. Teens will likely relate to Kat and the story should draw them in to learn how Kat solves her problems.

The author has obviously spent time in the beautiful Adirondack’s as her descriptions of the scenery are spot on. You can hear the birds chirping and bugs buzzing in the background as Kat and Randy walk through a meadow. I did find some of the events strained believability (Stillwater reads a book while her stallion struggles to free himself from barbed wire, Kat takes Stormwind for a 4 hour trail ride shortly after the mare foals). There are also some scenes that might be tough for more sensitive readers, such as the death of a horse, and the revelation of the pain that Randy has endured. However, I suspect most teens won’t mind. They’ll be hoping Kat saves the horses, saves the farm, and helps Randy return to a “normal” life.

Quill says: A girl, a beautiful horse, and a journey in the woods, will draw many teens to this adventure.