Rather than stay with the mean, smelly Zielinskis after her parents are hurt in a car accident, Shannon Simpson treks a hundred miles through the forest seeking her long-lost grandmother.
Finding Gran means finding her way safely through the woods with only a compass, her wits and a mysterious, possibly magical marra mamba stone to guide her.
During her journey, Shannon faces bad weather, injuries, hunger, thirst, and lots of wild animals – some nice and some not so nice. And she uncovers secrets about her family and herself. (Cover art by Natalie Simone.)
Praise for Shannon’s Odyssey
“This is such a great book. I love the creative story. I read this book in 4 days. Shannon’s personality I have to admit is a lot like mine.” — Noah
“What a great book! It’s well written, and the storyline had me staying up late. Her descriptions of animal communication were very much like what I’ve experienced. I’ve already recommended it to my nieces and my friend’s granddaughters. Adults will like this book too. I did!” — Wicked Good Witch of Metrowest
“I just want to say your book is the best chapter book I’ve ever read. I love the detail in your story. When I read the beginning of the book I couldn’t stop reading. I ended up reading more than ten chapters. That’s how good the book is. It made me cry at some parts and made me rush because I was nervous. I kept saying to myself what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen and then when I know what happens I’m relieved. Again, best book ever!!!” — CEMA
When the terrain allowed, Shannon and the wolf padded along side by side. Otherwise, Jenniva led, staying as true as possible to Shannon’s frequent compass readings.
After one compass check, Jenniva veered off the northwest line in Shannon’s head.
“What are you doing?”
The large wolf looked back at Shannon and stopped.
I can explain better if we talk by seeing. Relax and focus on nothing.
Shannon squeezed her eyes shut and listened with all her might.
You’re not relaxing. Try this. Close your eyes gently and look at what you see.
Shannon wasn’t sure what this meant, but she shut her eyes and looked at the orangey-gray color on the inside of her eyelids. The colors wavered, blue flecks popping out here and there. The flowing movements lulled her into stillness. An image grew in her mind. Deer ambled up a narrow trail in the forest, rocks and trees on either side.
“You want to hunt a deer?”
Jenniva was silent. Shannon closed her eyes again and the image came faster this time. She saw herself, following the wolf along the trail.
“Oh. You want to go that way. It must be a deer trail. But it’s off my direction.”
Not by much. It’s easier than the direct line, and will be faster. I won’t let you stray.
Nodding, Shannon turned to follow the wolf. After a minute of scrambling over rocks and roots and pushing through low, overgrown bushes, Shannon realized they were on the trail. She would never have found this herself. They moved easily between the trees now, Jenniva leading, the incline manageable.
As they walked on, the girl asked the wolf, “Do you know anything about the stone I wear around my neck?”
Only what I’ve said—it tells the animals you mean no harm, unlike many humans.
“But how do you know that?”
I don’t know, I just do. She paused. I smell it. I feel it.
“Maybe my Gran put some magic in it somehow,” Shannon murmured.
More loudly, she said, “My grandmother left me a note that said the stone—” she reached for the words, “that it would help me find what I seek most, but that to hear its message might take some time. I must think of nothing and focus my mind. You told me to think of nothing too. What does that do?”
If there is nothing in your mind, then your mind is free to accept new things. Think of it this way. Sometimes, you need to be open to something that is not already inside you.
Where to Buy
Shannon’s Odyssey is available as a paperback and an ebook.