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"Sally's Magic River" by H. Frank Gaertner

“Sally’s Magic River” is a short fantasy novel authored by H. Frank Gaertner, a molecular geneticist and watersport enthusiast. Gaertner has published many scientific journals, yet he feels, and asserts that “Sally’s Magic River” is his most important work. The tale revolves around young Sally, who finds herself on a metaphysical journey into herself—and above the skies. This fantasy stirs curiosity and imagination, keeping readers turning the pages.

Overall, “Sally’s Magic River” is a surprisingly fun time and quick, quirky read. With its larger printing format, the book can be read in a single day. The book’s “hidden gem” is quite profound. Sally discovers the power of confidence, and through her journey, the reader learns how one’s inner visions can become manifest in our daily lives. With this power, like Sally, we are able to soar through the most trying of obstacles.

The story stammers a bit when Sally is propelled into “the real world” and adulthood. The fantasy element remains an integral part of the story, and Gaertners’ quippy storytelling style keeps readers following the narrative, yet, one may find themselves missing Sally’s furry animal friends during the second act. Scenic transitions seem jumpy at times, and the audience may find themselves being shot from one scene and world to the next with little contextual warning, leaving the reader slightly jarred, and flipping back to make sure they haven’t missed a page.

“Sally’s Magic River” is a pleasant story-time read for the entire family. The book’s fantasy elements stir the imagination, making the reader wonder more about the history behind Sally and her friends. We recommend this book for younger readers between the ages of seven and fifteen, and for readers of all ages with a young-at-heart spirit. The author highly suggests readers listen to the audiobook version of “Sally’s Magic River” should readers feel interested in hearing the story come to life. “Sally’s Magic River” would be a wonderful feature length film, a sure time for the entire family to enjoy.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mr.Gaertner, getting to know more about his life experiences, and how his imagination helped him overcome childhood tragedies. Hearing his story helped us see how his life, and youthful, loving spirit influenced such an imaginative literary work.



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