Daniel: The Age of Anxiety

Peter Pactor
Freisen Press (2017)
ISBN 9781525500848
Reviewed by Arianna Violante, YA Reviewer for Reader Views (1/18)

“Daniel: The Age of Anxiety” by Peter Pactor is a story that takes place in the early 1900s, about a 12-year-old boy named Daniel French. Daniel is wealthy and smart, but doesn’t seem to have a lot of social skills.  It’s hard to fit in with his peers because not everyone can handle Daniel’s mannerisms and personality. It’s a work in progress.

As the owner of Holiday Bank, which has been in his family for years, Daniel is naturally interested in finance and the economy.  When he hears from experts about an upcoming stock market crash, he learns all he can in hopes of warning others so they can get out of the market before they risk losing everything. Most adults are not willing to listen to a 12 year-old however, so Daniel has his work cut out for him. With some highly influential friends though, he just might be able to get his point across.

 I really enjoyed this story. The author does a fantastic job with descriptions and the settings and includes detailed historical information surrounding the time period. The speech in the 1920s was very different from today so there was a bit of an adjustment period before the tone “clicked,” but I found Daniel and his friends to be very entertaining and the storyline engaging.

Daniel is a complex character.  As he talked about economics and banking issues, and even during some of his conversations with his best friend, I kept forgetting he was only 12 years old!  In these situations he seemed much older. In fact I would say he could pass for 18 or even older. In other instances, when with his school peers, he almost acted his age, but not quite, and not that often.  I don’t know any boys that age that act like Daniel – so mature and very confident.  It was mentioned in the beginning of the story that Daniel was bullied and I thought that made his character very genuine. I believe Daniel is a boy who would be bullied in today’s times as well.

Overall, I think this story is best suited for older teens and adults.  Those interested in the time period of the stock market crash and historical fiction fans will definitely enjoy “Daniel: The Age of Anxiety” by Peter Pactor.

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