This week’s book recommendation is The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen. I first read this book when I was around 12 years old, but I still remember several scenes from this story vividly. The story follows a young man named Mark as he goes on his first solo camping trip across a desert. The trip is supposed to take a week, but while out in the middle of nowhere, a mysterious beam of light appears and transports him through time to a distant future (it somewhat reminds me a bit of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells in this aspect). Don’t worry, there are no aliens, technically, since it is still Earth.
Mark gets effectively tossed into this seemingly new world where he has to survive while trying to figure out how to get back to his own time. The more I think about this book the more I am reminded of other stories that have similar elements, such as The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the movie 12 Monkeys. Anyway, Mark builds a new life in this strange world. A life that is made worthwhile through love and familial bonds, which in turn makes it worth defending. Worth fighting for. The ending was also one of the first that left me, as a fairly young reader, amazed. I can’t give away too much of course, but it is an unexpected ending that is somewhat tragic.
This book was published in 1998 and is 256 pages. It’s a quick read that is often classified as young adult, but of course there are no real age limits on books. It’s just another perk of being an adult. You can read anything you want. I’m not sure how popular this book is (I have yet to come across anyone else I know who has read it), but I think it deserves a larger audience. Hopefully you’ll give it shot. If you do, let me know what you think.