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The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
Cover of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
Borrow Borrow

A debut novel about a fourteen-year-old boy who witnesses the death of his younger brother in a horrific accident, for readers of To Kill a Mockingbird, Peace Like a River, and Cold Sassy Tree

After witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, fourteen-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky.

Medgar is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and backfilling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the company and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses the brutal murder of the opposition leader, a sequence is set in play which tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains.

Redemptive and emotionally resonant, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is narrated by an adult Kevin looking back on the summer when he sloughed the coverings of a boy and took his first faltering steps as a man among a rich cast of characters and an ambitious effort to reclaim a once great community.

A debut novel about a fourteen-year-old boy who witnesses the death of his younger brother in a horrific accident, for readers of To Kill a Mockingbird, Peace Like a River, and Cold Sassy Tree

After witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, fourteen-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky.

Medgar is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and backfilling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the company and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses the brutal murder of the opposition leader, a sequence is set in play which tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains.

Redemptive and emotionally resonant, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is narrated by an adult Kevin looking back on the summer when he sloughed the coverings of a boy and took his first faltering steps as a man among a rich cast of characters and an ambitious effort to reclaim a once great community.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Christopher Scotton is an experienced public speaker, seminar leader, online marketer, and technology entrepreneur. After a stint as a venture capitalist, he joined his third start-up where he is currently president and CEO. Scotton is a recognized expert on search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online lead generation. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is his first novel.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 24, 2014
    Scotton’s accomplished debut is the story of Kevin Gillooly, a 14-year-old boy who moves to coal country and learns about courage and violence, beauty and danger, from his wise, weathered grandfather and a best friend well versed in backwoods survival. Kevin’s mother brings him to her hometown of Medgar, Ky., after the death of Kevin’s three-year-old brother. Kevin’s grandfather Pops is a large-animal veterinarian and hires Kevin as an assistant. Pops also introduces him to books like Treasure Island and gives him time off to explore the surrounding mountains with his friend and confidant Buzzy Fink, who teaches Kevin how to use slugs to treat spider bites and other survival skills. Kevin sees land destroyed by mining, hears exploding mountaintops, and feels the fly-rock, while Buzzy witnesses the beating of gay hairdresser and anti-mining activist Paul Pierce. Both Kevin and Buzzy are tested during a camping trip with Pops, when an unknown assailant tracks them down and opens fire in the wilderness. Scotton’s cast of classic Appalachian characters also includes housekeeper Audy Rae, Cleo the high school football hero, the violent and inbred Budget family, and an array of old men shooting the breeze at Hivey’s. The coming-of-age story is enriched by depictions of the earth’s healing and redemptive power. Neither the first portrait of mining country nor the most original, Scotton’s novel nonetheless makes for compelling reading when the action grows intense—managing, like the landscape it describes, to be simultaneously frightening and beautiful.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Robert Petkoff's expressive tones and sensitive cadence perfectly match the moods and rhythms of this stunning coming-of-age story, set in hardscrabble small-town Kentucky. In 1985, after the tragic death of his brother, Kevin and his mother return to her childhood home for a summer of healing. Even as Kevin falls in love with the beautiful woods and mountains, he learns that prejudices, family feuds, and tough economic times can lead men to ugly deeds. Petkoff's distinct voices and smooth presentation keep listeners engaged with this remarkable audiobook. Highlights of his performance include a gentle, musing tone that flawlessly conveys the atmosphere of quiet evenings on the front porch and a quick, clipped delivery that captures Kevin's fear of the violence he witnesses during those pivotal months. C.B.L. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
Christopher Scotton
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