The Boy In The Fan
Twelve-year-old Henry Marshall is in trouble! The car crash that claimed his mother’s life four years earlier has turned his father into an alcoholic. Not long after, Henry was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a condition that’s made him considerably smaller than anyone his age and the object of every bully at school. The only good things in his life right now are his loving grandparents, his best friend, and the old red barn on his grandparents’ property Henry and his friends use as a club house.
After taking a particularly humiliating pummeling after school one day, a tear-streaked Henry peddles his bike to the “West End” and perches himself atop a chrome stool across from his grandfathers work bench and spots a very old fan. Curiosity, and lack of anything better to do, prompts Henry to plug in the fan, and to his surprise it rattles to life. As the fan blows away the tears from Henry’s face, he speaks into the fan, “Luke, I am your father.” He sniffles and says the phrase again, “Luke, I am your father.” The fan giving the desired vocal effect, he smiles and says robustly the third time, “Luke, I am your father!”…and that’s when he hears an indiscernible but very human voice speaking back to him through the fan!. And if that isn’t weird enough Henry and his friends soon discover the voice isn’t from the area…or the present time!
Join Henry and his friends as they discover the unfathomable trials being endured by a boy their own age, separated by 4,000 miles and fifty years! Will they be able to help their new friend escape the brutality and certain death that await him?
“Most of the time books with strong historical references are about as entertaining to me as cutting my toe nails. Luckily, that was NOT the case with Boy in the Fan! The creative avenue the author took to travel back in time (and across continents) is unique and intriguing. The story line draws you in to both characters past and present and gives them a relatability that pulls in you in and compels you too start that next chapter. This book would be ideal for teenager on up. Perfect book to grab when the snow is falling and your stuck inside because you will want to sit and binge read, the last few chapters are, especially, real page turners.
Filled with action, this is a story of two boys, both struggling for their lives in entirely different ways, who are uniquely drawn together in a way no one could have imagined.”
Laura B. Gossman
Like so many children, I too have uttered the signature phrase, “Luke, I am your father.” into a whirling fan. But the young protagonist, Henry Marshall, received something neither I or any other child has heard after doing their best James Earl Jones impression — a voice calling back. That fantastic event sets the stage for this wonderful tale which imaginatively stitches together the trials of a young boy and his friends from Anywhere-Middle-Town, America, to a war-torn boy and his family, being trampled by the evils of the devil himself. Throughout The Boy In The Fan, Henry tackles all too relatable issues, from simply being overlooked, to squaring off with bullies, chronic illness, and even learning about what love really is. But it’s the way the author gracefully used artistic license while still paying deep homage to the very real hell on Earth experienced by millions of Jewish families, that absolutely captivated me. I, too, was brought to the foreign side of the fan. Ultimately, the events which transcend thousands of miles and span multiple decades, culminate in a beautiful ending which left me with a full heart, welled up eyes, and a desperate desire to grab an old box fan from the shelf in my garage and plug it in. Just to see if this time I might also get an answer.
In the News
The Boy in the Fan makes front page news in the Henry News Republican, April 27, 2022.