Book Review: The Protectors’ Pledge: Secrets of Oscuros

The Protectors’ Pledge: Secrets of Oscuros by Danielle Y.C. McClean is the 2016 third place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

JV is an adventurous eleven-year-old boy on vacation from school. He lives with his grandmother who is the quintessential Caribbean granny; she loves to feed everyone who comes to her house. She is also the ‘medicine woman’ in their village.

JV has plans of exploring the forest for the vacation, he is very excited, but his grandmother and other villagers discourage him from doing so because of their suspicions and beliefs that the forest is the home of mythical/folklore creatures.

JV defies his grandmother and goes further into the forest that she has instructed him to. On his first visit, he goes with two friends, but they leave separately, and JV sees a strange woman in a river that makes him curious about who or what she was. He suspects that his friends have also experienced something odd or have seen something strange, but none of them says anything.

Soon after a little girl goes missing, and JV along with several villagers unsuccessfully search the forest to find her. When JV goes into the forest alone, he learns who the woman he saw was, and he discovers another mysterious character. They have the child and JV makes a deal to help them in exchange for the girl’s safe return home. JV wants to return the girl to her parents, so he bravely embarks on a mission to honour his promise. In turn, he is forced to confront a dangerous situation.

This book was lovely. Lovely isn’t a word I would typically use to describe a book, but I can see both boys and girls loving this story. It is, of course, entertaining but it also sheds light on an important issue and it incorporates folklore which is one of my favourite things to read about.

Please visit my page to view my rating of this book and to see which books I am currently reading.


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