Book Reviews:

Shari Andrus, middle school librarian:

Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer

I am in awe! This new book is fantastic! It’s a mystery with adventure, troubles, victory, romance and drama. It has everything! The characters came alive as I read. I felt myself pulling for Ripley and his friends. The wrestling, the bully – all believable. The perfect book!!

K.S. Moore, bookvana award winning author of “Angel Beneath My Wheels.”:

Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer

Fast-paced, relevant, and powerful, Ripley and his quirky cast of diverse characters entertain and enlighten. Cultural misunderstandings are illuminated with heart and compassion.

Lori Nelson Spielman, international bestselling author of “The Life List”:

Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer

Wow! Just…wow! That’s all I can say. I just finished reading Ripley and I loved it. Truly. It’s a gripping page-turner, filled with mystery and bad guys and first love. And Ripley… I adore him! He’s at once an awkward teen filled with angst, and the cool kid. And to top it all off, you’ve got the high concept of worm charming! This is the big one! I am thrilled to see what transpires.

Kirkus Reviews:

Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer

Stricklen skillfully weaves together numerous plot threads. Unlikely elements blend wonderfully in this eclectic adventure. (as featured in Kirkus Review Magazine)

Writer’s Digest Magazine:

Beneath and Beyond (book 1)

His stories have an old-fashioned tale vibe to them, which harkens back to Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The addition of the drawings also reminds one of old-fashioned storybooks, which we loved! His writing is smooth and accomplished, and his opening pages draw the reader’s interest at the outset.

Through The Eyes of the Beast (book 2)

Through the Eyes of the Beast, the second in David Stricklen’s Blackwater Pond fantasy series, is another old-fashioned tale that enchants and entertains. Mr. Stricklen hits all the right notes, weaving mystery and magic to create effortless, yet very satisfying reading. Young readers will love these tales, which are more fun to read than the more elaborate fantasies of contemporaries. There’s a sweetness to his prose, and a decency in his characters that feels refreshing. Again, his storytelling instincts are pitch perfect, and his writing is very accomplished.

Kirkus Review:

Beneath and Beyond (book 1)

…fanciful storytelling, particularly when describing the surreal surroundings of this distant land. Stricklen skillfully embeds morality lessons and pearls of wisdom throughout the narrative, usually through Ebil’s rants—“So many beliefs and all know they are right. It will never be settled in a fight or display of might”—which parents of young readers will appreciate. A quick adventure for readers inclined toward flights of fancy.

Midwest Book Review:

Beneath and Beyond (book 1)

2012 Reviewer recommended bookwatch selection. “A fine pick your young Adult Fictions


Beyond Blackwater Pond…is a thriller fantasy about 16-year-old Brian’s attempt to save his younger brother Tommy. Grandmother warns the boys to stay away from a nearby pond; she says it is evil….Brian is convinced his brother is still alive and makes it his mission to find out what happened. He is lured back into the water by a voice and finds himself in another world….Though dark characters stir below the water, the author adds touches of humor through the characters. The illustrations by Dan Sharp offer detailed images for the story.

– Grand Rapids Press

I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of fantasy stories, but I loved this book…I couldn’t put it down. The main characters are interesting and likable. The story was captivating. The author has an amazing imagination. This is a terrific book for kids as well as adults. I can’t wait for a sequel.

– Bill Whiting, Amazon.com Review

As a hard-core fan of all books fantasy, Stricklen did an awesome job portraying the adventures of curious teenage boys. It has all the potential of an epic triology in the making: romance, adventure, mystery, action, mystical creatures, and magical lands. An ingenious and original plot with unexpected twists and turns.

– Andrew J. Rosolino, Amazon.com Review

After reading the …reviews I was skeptical that the book would live up to the high expectations I had for it. It absolutely did. From the first pages I was drawn into an exciting and amusing fantasy world that I was very sorry to leave….I look forward to any future work from Mr. Stricklen.

– Carrie L. Barrett, Amazon.com Review