THE FORT by Aric Davis

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pub date: June 11th, 2013

It was easy to pick up THE FORT after loving Davis’ A GOOD AND USEFUL
HURT. It was good. THE FORT is incredible.

It’s something every kid does. At some point, during some hot summer, every kid collects the stray wood from the house or neighborhood and makes a fort. During the summer of 1987, twelve year olds Tim, Luke and Scott were quick to make off with the wood from the Tim’s parents deck. Spanning three trees in an A shape, the fort had boy height windows to maximize the view of the forbidden tree filled lands of neighbors yards. In their imaginations, these lands became war torn Vietnam in which the boys were snipers keen on sighting the enemy. But what the boys ended up seeing one summer day would change their lives.

A man, a neighbor, is dragging a girl through the woods with a gun to
her back. The girl, Molly Peterson, was reported missing after an outing at an outdoor movie theater turned into a terrible stunt that also involved Tim’s older sister, Becca. The boys do the right thing and call the police. But when the police find a body that has been dead longer than Molly has been missing, they decide the boys are lying. As do the boys parents. The three decide the only thing they can do is find Molly on their own.

You’ll see THE FORT compared to STAND BY ME and GONE BABY GONE. For good reason. THE FORT is that uncommonly good. Davis has created characters every reader will root for as brutal real life event forces three boys to grow up and go it alone against a killer.

Jennifer Jordan