Sometimes books you remember as a child or adolescent disappear from shelves. Walt Morey is one of those authors. Some publisher had, cleverly, published a set of seven or eight of his stories in the 90s as the Walt Morey Adventure library. My parents bought them for us boys at Christmas one year, if memory serves.
They are almost impossible to find now.
Walt Morey is best known for writing Gentle Ben (his first children’s novel, proving that sometimes the first one is the best?). I’ve actually never read Gentle Ben. Walt Morey will forever be in my head for writing the best “boy” books of my early teens. His stories were transitional — the stakes were no longer non-existent. There was tragedy and drama.
He was a master of setting — his books are mostly set either in Alaska or in the Pacific Northwest. He loved those landscapes, and he writes them compellingly.
I wish I could say I had a favorite, but I don’t. I loved them all — Deep Trouble, Angry Waters, Scrub – Dog of Alaska, Runaway Stallion, Home is the North, Run Far, Run Fast, Year of the Black Pony, and Gloomy Gus.
I was telling Rebecca this morning that I need to go ahead and buy used versions of them all. They’re delightful. Especially if you have boys, these books are worth having around. I lost myself for hours in Walt Morey’s adventures. They’re a fun read.
(Boom… use of Title in Post… +10 bonus points!)