Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publication Date: 4/13/10
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Blurb (GR): A LOADED GUN. STOLEN GOLD. And a menacing stranger. A taut frontier survivor story, set at the time of the Alaska gold rush.
In an isolated cabin, fourteen-year-old Sig is alone with a corpse: his father, who has fallen through the ice and frozen to death only hours earlier. Then comes a stranger claiming that Sig’s father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold. Sig’s only protection is a loaded Colt revolver hidden in the cabin’s storeroom. The question is, will Sig use the gun, and why?
Revolver is a 2011 Printz Honor winner and yet, only 276 people on Goodreads have read it. After reading this book, I understand why.
This a beautifully written YA novel, but I have no idea who would be its audience. Boys will not read it because there is no magic or action, girls - because there is no romance or high school drama.
Revolver is set in 1910th Antarctic wilderness. 14-year old Sig just found his father's dead body. He froze to death after falling under ice while crossing a nearby lake. As Sig is waiting by his father's corpse for his sister and stepmother to come back with help, he is approached by a man who claims that Sig's father owes him gold from 10 years ago. What follows are 36 hours that test Sig's courage and his belief in life lessons taught to him by his parents...
A mix of mystery, psychological thriller and historical fiction, this book is, surprisingly, an ode to... a revolver, which is a major player in this story. As Anton Chekhov once said, "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it". The revolver in this novel does get fired and the decision to do it is a vital one and, of course, carries very serious consequences.
I think people who still like Jack London's stories about Gold Rush will appreciate Revolver. But how many teens are there interested in this period in American history? I'll bet every public and school library in America has a copy of this novel, but all of them are destined to gather dust on the shelves. No matter how good the book is, its subject matter is just not of much interest to current generation.