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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Precocious is a short story by Joseph Riden. A gifted Florida schoolboy named Kevin has shown amazing creativity and brilliant mechanical aptitude since he was little. His parents encourage his curiosity, self-directed learning, and experimentation. But there’s one thing Kevin wants more than anything else. He wants his father, a skilled hobby fisherman, to invite him to go on one of his fishing trips where they would be away for a week and return with a large catch. Kevin knew he would only be asked if he proved himself a good fisherman first. That would take the equipment he didn’t have and access to deeper water. Kevin will pour his creativity and determination into the effort. Will he succeed?
In Precocious, Jospeh Riden gives us a delightful story about a young boy who pursues a dream. On its surface, it doesn’t seem achievable for someone of his age and without the necessary resources, especially if he wants to do it on his own except for his loyal dog by his side and some advice from the man at the tackle shop. The narrative is descriptive and flows at a good pace. We share in Kevin’s thoughts and solutions as he tackles one obstacle after another. The warmth of family relationships, especially the parental role in fostering Kevin’s ingenuity and Kevin’s admiration of his father, is beautifully described. And with the emphasis these days on reusing, recycling, and repurposing what otherwise might go into a landfill, the story has a laudable environmental subtheme as well. An enjoyable read.