Monday, July 11, 2011


Dennis Smith and I were classmates in high school. Now I'm blogging about books, but he's actually writing books. His debut is The Trilogy of Swamp Hattie, a compilation of three books about an evil ghost. Now that there are no more new Harry Potter books on the horizon, Swamp Hattie can provide you with your supernatural fix. Dennis's books have elements of The Lord of the Rings and the original Star Wars movies, and, like both of those trilogies, the second Swamp Hattie book concludes with a dark cliffhanger. Swamp Hattie, "an evil ghost," has made it her mission to spread disaster and mayhem all around St. Augustine and beyond, but her tale is ultimately a fable of redemption---a sort of fairy tale. Some authors impress me with their thorough research, but every single line of these books rhymes with another line, and that's no small feat. Dennis is a pathologist and even finds rhymes for medical terms. With Chris Armstrong's vivid and intricate illustrations, these books are the sort that you'll want to pass along to your grandchildren.

I normally steer clear of works with heavy religious overtones, and there's a significant dose of spirituality here. However, I choose to interpret the roles of God and Satan, as depicted in these books, more as metaphors for good and evil. There is also a fair amount of violence but not any more than you would find in a Harry Potter book. I recommend reading the books aloud to get the full effect of, and an appreciation for, the rhyming.

The books make beautiful gifts or keepsakes, whether you choose the glossy hardbound Collector's Edition or the pocketsize paperback, and are available for purchase at This colorful web site has contests and giveaways, plus more info on the books, the author ("Hattie's Daddy"), and the artist.

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