Book Review: Hobo Pete and the Ghost Train

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Hobo Pete and the Ghost Train
By Sandy Pheat
Published by Freebird Publishers, P.O. Box 541, North Dighton,
MA 02764; (2014)
ISBN 9780991359103
Available as Ebook and paperback through Amazon.

Reviewed by Christopher Zoukis

Hobo Pete and the Ghost Train represents a victory for Freebird Publishers, a growing multi-media entity dedicated to serving a sometimes forgotten segment of American society: the 2.3 million men, women, and children currently behind bars in our nation’s prisons and jails. Hobo Pete is the first young adult novel from Freebird, and it is a quality product in all regards.

Hobo Pete tells the eerie tale of three boys in 1963 Appalachia, who encounter a local hobo with whom they have something in common: they each hear the passing of a ghostly train in the night–in an area where no tracks run through. Even more disturbing, these auditory disturbances are accompanied by an apparent rash of local deaths that seem somehow to be connected to each instance of the train’s passing. The tale is well-crafted and a good read. As the book progresses more about the train and Hobo Pete himself is revealed in smooth fashion, building to a satisfying ending.

Sandy Pheat is a pseudonym, but for whom, it’s unclear, and there’s little information included in the book. But presumably, Sandy Pheat is a pen name for a prisoner. If so, then perhaps Hobo Pete is even more impressive. The writing is of a professional level and well-considered. Hobo Pete is said to be the first in a series of novels about the three West Virginia youths; if so, there is much to look forward to. Hobo Pete is not only well-worth the read, but it represents a positive sign for things to come for prisoners on a larger scale, as well, for if publishers like Freebird are able to provide quality books to prisoners like this one, then a growing population will be well-served.

(Published by; used by permission)