“When the sugarcane’s burning and the rabbits are running, look for the boys who are quicker than flame…Out here in the flats, when the sugarcane’s burning and the rabbits are running, there can only be quick. There’s quick, and there’s dead” (1). And with these first words, Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson is off like a shot.
Fields of sugarcane and miles of swampland engulf the tiny town of Taper, Florida. One sweltering day, twelve-year-old Charlie finds himself in this backwater place at a funeral for his stepfather’s high school football coach. Following the funeral, a boy approaches Charlie and introduces himself as Cotton, Charlie’s step-second cousin. “You scared of snakes?” he inquires. When Charlie declares he isn’t scared, Cotton whisks him away into the cane fields to show him a secret. As a result, Cotton unknowingly leads them both into a dangerous adventure that will test their courage, friendship, and speed.
Though born and bred in Idaho, Wilson has successfully captured some of the “southern feel” in Boys of Blur. The sweaty days of high humidity, the rural fields of sweet cane, the small town atmosphere, and the matter-of-fact “cousins is cousins” (even when they’re step-second cousins) approach towards family all combine to make Boys of Blur into a book that carries the flavor of the south.
With its interesting characters, imaginative plotline, and well-executed setting, Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson is an excellent addition to the children’s literary world.
Something to Look For
In all of his books, N. D. Wilson alludes to epic literature, history, and mythology. See how many of these allusions you can find in Boys of Blur.
Nathan David Wilson is a Christian author who writes predominantly for children. Some of his most famous books include Leepike Ridge, the 100 Cupboards series, and the Ashtown Burials – a four-book series he is currently working on. He lives in Idaho with his wife and five children.