Hatter’s Creek Rescue by Alan Cupp
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Age Recommendation: 8+
Length: Short Story (36 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
When eleven-year-old JT set out on his bike one morning toward Mill House Road, all he anticipated was a thrilling ride down the steepest and longest piece of road in the county. The experience ranked high on JT’s list of favorite summer time activities. His only worry was keeping Mom from finding out about his trip down the seldom-traveled hill, miles from any populated area. However, things don’t always go as anticipated. After a disappointing and painful encounter with a pothole, JT finds himself alone, battered, and miles from home with a broken bicycle. On his way home, JT stops at Hatter’s Creek Bridge to wash off some of the blood and dirt, hoping to mask the truth of his ill-fated journey. When he witnesses a car accident at the opposite end of the bridge, JT is plunged into the role of rescuer. To save the car’s occupants, JT must face the dangerous current of Hatter’s Creek, fatigue, hunger, an ill-tempered dog, and his worst fear: a dirty diaper.
How would you react in an emergency? Many of us – kids and adults alike – instinctively freeze. JT Hawn springs to action to help in any way he can despite the risk to his own well-being.
Writing a well-rounded description of any character in a short story isn’t easy. This can be an even more difficult thing to accomplish when the main character is an eleven year old boy reacting to a crisis, but Mr. Cupp does a fantastic job of capturing JT’s curiosity, courage and just a hint of disobedience in a short time frame.
The diaper changing incident injected some much-needed humor into the story. JT’s inexperience with babies and his disgust at changing diapers rang true to everything else the reader learns about JT’s personality.
The medical status of one of the characters was a little confusing. At one point this individual speaks but a short while later this person is described as being unconscious. I actually went back to reread the previous section to see if the injured party had begun to recover. The text didn’t specify how much time had passed and I finished the story still not knowing if Mr. Cupp meant that this person was passing in and out of consciousness or if more time had passed than I’d originally assumed.
This is not a serious flaw, though, and other than puzzling over the timeline it did not affect my enjoyment of the story.
If you’re looking for a warm-hearted, funny adventure I highly recommend Hatter’s Creek Rescue.