Title: The Metric Clock
Author: Phillip B. Chute
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
A hazardous adventure forces a young boy to adapt in order to survive.
Charles is an intelligent nine-year-old living in 1946 New England. Despite his intellect, Charles tends to be absentminded and preoccupied with daydreaming. He enjoys spending time with the group of boys that live on his street, but the most genuine connection he forms is with his best friend Mary Anne. Charles is presented with an opportunity to accompany his father on a trip to his hometown in rural Canada.
While staying at the farm his father grew up on, Charles is able to learn of his father's past and his hidden personality. He gains a deeper understanding of his father through stories of his youth and learns of how the Great Depression led him to emigrate to the United States. Charles realizes the role hardship and suffering has played in his father's life and begins to form a solid connection with his once distant father.
Charles appreciates the chance to meet and interact with members of his father's family. His older cousin takes an interest in him, and he decides to bring Charles on a hunting trip. The two young boys encounter a dangerous situation that forces Charles into a role that requires great strength and maturity. Will he find the resolve within himself to survive? Will he emerge unchanged, or will this unfortunate excursion leave him altered forever?
Young Charles lives in post-world-war-two New England and has a propensity to daydream. He finds it hard to fit in and his best friend is a girl, Mary Anne. In her, he finds a true friendship and acceptance. When he gets the chance to accompany his father on a trip to rural Canada and to visit his father's hometown, little does he know what's in store. Staying on the farm where his father grew up, Charles learns a lot about what his father went through growing up in the Great Depression. He connects with his father, like never before. It isn't until Charles and his cousin face a traumatic experience, that brings out inner strength and courage Charles never knew he had. Will Charles escape unharmed or will the events that unfold scar him for the rest of his life?
The Metric Clock is a compelling coming-of-age story. From the beginning, the main character, Charles, was relatable to me. He's only nine-years-old yet is very intelligent. His main conflict is between himself and his absent father. Phillip Chute's descriptive narration draws the reader into the story. Chute's uncanny ability to evoke emotion is impressive. The plot moves at a slow pace but I didn't mind, considering the targeted audience. When I finished reading, I kept thinking, “this needs to be required reading in schools.” If you love coming-of-age books, you'll love The Metric Clock. If you're in search of the next Gary Paulson, read The Metric Clock. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Phillip Bruce Chute, EA is a businessman-writer. He is currently a tax and financial advisor with a consulting practice in Temecula, California.
Phil served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in the States and Europe during the Cold War. His ancestry dates back to warrior-king Robert Bruce of Scotland and the Speaker of Parliament Chaloner Chute of England.
As a writer, Phillip has won National and International awards from Kiwanis International. His first book, American Independent Business, was a 500-page book published in 1985 and used as a college textbook and reference for business entrepreneurs. A second book, Rock & Roll Murders, was published in 2006. It was based on a true story about the KOLA radio station-Fred Cote Murder-One trials and conviction in Riverside of 1990. He has also published articles for the Nova Scotia periodical, The Shore News, and has been interviewed by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Phillip Chute is married to Nenita Chute, an educator. Both work out of their home.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N