Title: The Fourth Nephite
Author: Jeffrey S. Savage
Publisher: Deseret Book
Release Date: August, 2010
Size: 304 pages, 6×9, paperback
Genre: YA Fantasy
Kaleo Steele is starting to cut seminary and hang out with some new “friends”; in fact, he’s not even sure what he believes anymore. When his seminary teacher finds him at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kaleo is in jeopardy of missing his high school team’s regional football game—a game where college scouts will be coming to see him play. But his seminary teacher realizes that much more than a game is at stake, and sends him on a soul-searching quest.
Guided by Ladan, a mysterious old blind man, Kaleo pushes through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon he is caught up in a battle between treasure seekers—led by Allaster Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates—and the young prophet Joseph Smith, who is sworn to keep them safe. In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide what to believe. Before it’s too late.
I really loved this story! Kaleo is a refreshingly honest and brave character (a teenage boy nonetheless) who has traveled back in time to see first hand the events surrounding the life of the Prophet Joseph. He has been sent back to learn this lesson as punishment for a bad decision, yet he embraces it and is able to learn from it. I was nervous when his life intersected with the Prophet and his family, but it was so tastefully done, I had no problem with it in the end. (I loved dinner at the Smiths) It's heartwarming as Kaleo starts to figure out all the reasons his doubts in his faith are so unfounded and his ultimate understanding is sweet. I loved the little journalish entries at the beginning of the chapters and the author's voice kept me forgetting this was actually written by an adult. My teenagers are all fighting over who gets to read it next! Thrilled that it's a series!