After falling in love with her middle grade sci-fi/fantasy Black Lightning, I knew without a doubt that K.S. Jones could write exceptionally well. So when I learned that her debut novel Shadow of the Hawk had taken first place in the Chawcer Awards for historical fiction and had won a literary classics award, I was not surprised, but I was very proud and impressed.
Shadow of the Hawk is a young adult historical fiction published by Clean Reads. Set during the Great Depression in Coaldale, Arkansas, it’s the experiences of one sixteen year old girl, Sooze Williams, struggling to support her family through hardships and tragedy. When amidst all this her brother is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, Sooze must decide between marrying to improve her family’s financial situation or taking a chance at happiness.
It is obvious while reading this novel that K.S. Jones put a lot of effort into her research. For the week it took me to read this, I was helplessly drawn into Sooze’s world. Every detail was so vividly precise that I got a real sense of what it was like to have nothing more than your family’s farm and then to have that threatened by circumstances beyond your control.
I loved Sooze and her family, especially Cora, Sooze’s younger sister, but David was my favorite. Without giving anything away, he was just as difficult to get along with as he needed to be.
K.S. Jones should be very proud of her accomplishments so far. And if, like me, you are eagerly awaiting the release of Black Lightning in May, I suggest you pick up Shadow of the Hawk so you can see for yourself how deserving the author is of all the awards and acclaim.