HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Fighting Devil’s Backbone, Book 3: E. Z. in the Den of Thieves
Author: Tony L. Turnbow
Illustrators: Michael Hutzel, Oleg Beloded, Hanson Suhendra, and Veronica Wunderer
Publisher: Tony L. Turnbow, 2022
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 13-18
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Historical fiction
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Turnbow, Tony L. Fighting Devil’s Backbone, Book 3: E. Z. in the Den of Thieves (Published in 2022 by Tony L. Turnbow). In 1809, Ezekiel (“E. Z.”) Perkins, a young teen, is kidnapped, along with his younger brother David, and their best friend Isaiah, by a bandit named Joshua Burton on the mysterious wilderness road known as the Natchez Trace or “The Devil’s Backbone.” Mr. Burton demands that the boys join his bloodthirsty gang, learn the skills of a bandit, prey on travelers, and help him find some hidden gold for which Ezekiel has obtained a map. The lives of David and Isaiah depend upon his decision. Will the three survive their ordeal? Can they escape from Burton’s clutches? And do they locate the gold?
E. Z. in the Den of Thieves is Book 3 in the “Fighting Devil’s Backbone” young adult historical fiction trilogy. In Book 1, The Shadow of E. Z.’s Fear, E.Z., his widowed mother Sarah, and David leave their home in Pennsylvania to build a new life in the Mississippi Territory. In Book 2, E. Z. and the Chikasha Warrior, Sarah is washed away in a flood, and the boys are adopted by a friendly Chickasaw warrior named Tashka who offers them a home, but a party of enemy Creek warriors attack, Tashka is killed, and E.Z. and David are captured. Throughout their adventures, the road forces E. Z. to use all his wits to prove himself. The real battlefield is the boy’s own heart and head as he discovers who he is and the man he chooses to become.