“To the traveler’s eyes, the motel is dead and useless, a roadside tragedy, like the remains of some unfortunate animal in a ditch – glimpsed, mourned, and forgotten before the next bend in the road. But to the lean boy with the dark skin and the black hair struggling in the thick brush behind the pool, the motel is alive, and it is home.”
I know I am biased. I just am. Can’t help it. When your brother writes a great book, people just expect you to like it. And I do. But I like it more than that. I like it so much that I am willing to tell you all that you absolutely need this book. Get it! Don’t live another minute without it!
The thing that I love about Nate’s books (all of them) is his sense of place. He writes stories that are mysterious, exciting, and provoking, but they all occur here. In our very own backyards. In our very own country. With our very own people.
This isn’t an accident. American children have grown up in a literary tradition that leads us to believe that if something magical was ever going to happen in your life, you would need to live in England. Nate anchors the magic of the real world to the magic of his written worlds. He points us not into the magic of some imaginary world to get us lost, but he uses that world as a lens to point back to the magic of our world. The one that God created. The one that is right past your back deck. The one that is on country roads and in pizza places. The kind of magic that we live in every day, immersed so completely that we forget to see it.
The thing that really stands out to me in The Dragon’s Tooth (beyond the brilliant characters) is how many pieces of world history are linked in to this story. Ancient stories of explorers and villains, all the way down to Daniel Boone. They all have a part. They are all connected. They are all pieces of a story, fragments of something that we didn’t understand before. Connected to each other – not because Nate wrote a story in which they all fit together (although he did), but because a much greater Author wrote them in to a much greater story.
I want my children to see that kind of story as we drive by some run down motel. I want them to see magic when they see dolphins. I want them to feel the kind of wild life that this world is made of as parts of a wild story that God wrote. I want them to wonder, to ask, to look. I want them to be explorers of our own world.
Books are like training wheels for wonder, and first our children have to be explorers of places like Narnia, and Bag End, and Ashtown. They need to practice seeing along side someone who does. Nate does.
You can buy this marvelous book here. If you don’t have cash right now, sell something on Ebay. I’m not even joking.
This is not a book to wait on. This is medicine for rainy days (you know they are coming), therapy for tired people who forgot to enjoy having options for breakfast. This is the good stuff! Go get it!
For all you people in Spokane or Coeur d’ Alene, Nate will be doing an event at Costco this weekend. What a great opportunity to stock up on good reading, Christmas gifts, and paper towels, all at the same time!