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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Minnow is an otherworldly story of a small boy who leaves his dying father's bedside hunting a medicine for a mysterious illness. Sent by his mother to a local druggist in their coastal town, Minnow unexpectedly takes a dark and wondrous journey deep into the ancient Sea Islands, seeking the grave dust of a long-dead hoodoo man to buy him a cure. With only a half-feral dog ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by Hub City Press
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James II It's kind of cool that you bring up Beasts, because seeing the trailer to this film sort of woke me up and reminded me that there is a rich…moreIt's kind of cool that you bring up Beasts, because seeing the trailer to this film sort of woke me up and reminded me that there is a rich storytelling world in the south... right here where I am. I'm not sure where I was in writing MINNOW when I finally saw the movie, but there are certainly some parallels between the works... especially in terms of setting and the imagery involved in the natural world. In the end, though, I think Hushpuppy's story is a bit more nebulous... less direct in many ways... than Minnow's. I also think Beasts deals a bit more in direct allegory, than does MINNOW. Hopefully Minnow can join Hushpuppy in the annals of southern heroes. (less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I bought this book because it won the South Carolina First Novel Prize (which includes publication by Hub City), it has a beautiful cover, the author was in an MFA program with one of my friend's husbands, and it seemed like the book to buy in South Carolina in 2015. The author was at the SC Book Festival, where I got to hear more about the book and to meet him when he signed my copy.

I saved it to read for this past week, since I was staying in Beaufort, home of the author and starting off point
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Minnow is an exceptional story that tells the journey and quest that a young boy in the Lowcountry of South Carolina has to take. It is hard to narrow this book down to one genre, as there are many elements of very different genres. If you love action, supernatural forces, magical stories, and even dogs, you are no doubt going to love this story! Regardless of whether a person likes these conditions or not, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a very good adventure. Also, ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: argot, vivid-dream
As part of my internship, I have been translating this little guy with V. Buhl for Les Éditions du Sous-Sol, publisher for the French edition of the novel, from January to May 2016.

Welp, I am not that surprised by most of the comments I fish here and there! I consider it too as a mixbag of vivid, dreamlike settings, unusual premises and a tense plot eventually falling somewhat short of my expectations!

I thought I was in for some revealing trial when first introduced with Sorry George - anyone
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this fantastically southern Odyssey/Huck Finn journey-style book, historically set in the Lowcountry of my home-state of South Carolina. McTeer's lovely language in several scenes made me smile nostalgically and salivate in anticipation. As our hero, Minnow, hungrily awaits a hard-earned dinner, the description reads, "she leaned forward and spilled the contents of the basket across the table. The shrimp and crab flowed out in a glistening, steaming tide. Spicy steam roiled into ...more
Bonnye Reed
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Southern readers, those who love South Carolina,
Shelves: keepers, favorites
XXX An ARC debut novel received as a Goodreads Giveaway by my daughter Kellye, I have borrowed Minnow after watching her enjoy it. Minnow and James E. McTeer received the 2015 South Carolina First Novel Prize. The setting is long ago, but not specified. My impression is the 1920's or 1930's but it could be before or after then.

This is a fascinating tale about a young boy - our Hero, Minnow, as it were - on a mission to obtain medication that will help his dying father. He is forced to wander
Kelly Gunderman
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, arc
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

I went into this book with such amazingly high hopes. Fo the first few chapters, I was pleased at how well written and enjoyable the book was. It reminded me of some of the enjoyable books that I had to read in high school English class.

But by the middle of the book, I had that same feeling...only about books that I didn't like in high school. In short, the book gave me a Huckleberry Finn type vibe. It was the
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
A nice story - a good one for the boys back at the tree fort. But it remained just a kid's story. There was a want of substance to the story that left me feeling empty at the end.
Cat  Thomas
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well, I just finished this book, and I'm almost speechless. This is a coming of age story. This book is not for the weak of heart. I know some have reviewed that the ending wasn't satisfying , but to me, I thought it was perfect. It was a magical book, full of mystery, full of adventure, and full of devastation, shock and heartbreak as we follow a brave boy who will risk anything for his family. Minnow is quite a character. He is a brave, sweet, southern boy who faces one tough situation after ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book that you pick up and can't put down until you've read the entire thing and stared at the cover over and over. The writer did such an amazing job at giving the reader a glimpse into the lowcountry. Actually he did more than that--he picked me up and put me right in the pluff mud. The story is never boring; there are adventures around every corner for Minnow and his strangely acquired dog. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. It is an ...more
Jennifer Slade
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I felt like I was on the islands with Minnow! Lots of descriptions, twists and turns in this great adventure!
Carole Delahunty
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unlike anything I've read. The imagery is so strong and I felt this story as much as I read it.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in my English 1 Honors class, and it was phenomenal! I really enjoyed following Minnow throughout his journey, and I felt as though I was travelling with Minnow. McTeer uses a LOT of imagery in this book, so I always had a clear image of Minnow's surroundings. I also loved the fact that I could never put the book down. I remember sitting in my Geometry class and between problems I would keep reading as much as possible until I had to stop reading. One of my favorite parts of ...more
Madison Brackett
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book by James E. McTeer. He recently visited our school and gave us some more background information about the book which was very helpful. The book was very amazing and is great for people who love action-packed adventure books. I love the number of things that are happening at once and also helps you to realize how amazing the book is structured.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Minnow is a wonderful story about a young boy named Minnow. He has to go on a fast-paced adventure to save his father before it's too late. Filled with mystery, wonder, heroes, and enemies, Minnow is a wonderful book for a wide audience of readers.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a magnificent book. It had a great plot and was an amazing experience for me to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes mysterious books and many plot twist.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody who wants to read a fun adventure
Recommended to Hudson by: My teacher
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. I love a good book about the journey of a character. This story uses a great amount of imagery and I would definitely read it again. If you are looking for a good read and fun adventure then this is the book for you.
Gayle Slagle
Minnow, by James E. McTeer II, is a coming of age story about the quest of a young boy to save the life of his critically ill father. McTeer is the 2014 winner of the South Carolina First Novel award and it is a worthy recipient of this honor. The story takes place in the barrier islands of South Carolina at some point in the past, probably the 1920's. The protagonist is Minnow, a young, innocent boy who has lived a sheltered life. When he is sent by his mother to buy some medicine that she has ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Earlier this summer, I read a children’s book called Navigating Early. It dealt with two boys in 1940s Maine who go off into the forest on a quest. I didn’t love it, but I did like it better than Minnow.

Minnow is for adults – I assume it’s for adults mostly because it has too many descriptions to ever make it as a children’s book. I get it. There are palmetto trees in South Carolina.

Of the two books, Navigating Early has the more dynamic plot and aims higher. I finished Minnow and felt like I
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Probably more like a 1.5. Let's say I am really bummed. I love southern fiction. I love a good adventure story. I love descriptive writing. This was supposed to be all three in one. Unfortunately, I felt that unless you had been to the islands off the coast of South Carolina (which I haven't), it was very difficult to connect to the place. The author uses the same descriptions of the sky, the flora and the landscape over, and over, and over. There were times in the Minnow's adventure that got ...more
Catherine Blass
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I honestly don’t know what to do with this one. As some other reviewers have written, it doesn’t quite fit into any single genre. It starts as a sweet coming-of-age quest to save his father and eventually morphs into some kind of Cormac McCarthy tale. It was almost YA, but I wouldn’t recommend it to any pre/teen, what with the McCarthy bits. The ending was frustratingly abrupt. I like messy endings, but this one was not worth the journey, in my opinion. I’m curious to see what else comes of this ...more
Rebecca L
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Minnow and it is by far one of the best books I read that is set around South Carolina. The book has a variety of genres and can bring anyone in to read it. I do not recommend this book for children under the grade of six because of some parts of the book. Minnow does, however, have valuable life lessons that can teach young readers.
Mr. Gottshalk
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think it's important for any future readers of this book to visit, or have already visited, the Low Country of South Carolina. There is such a strong sense of setting coursing through each well-can after chapter, it's hard to describe unless the reader has some background knowledge about the land, culture, and distinct flavor of the area. As for plot, it's one of those "quest" stories, with a never-say-die small boy as the protagonist. There was much to like about this short novel, and yet I ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Take away the paragraphs describing trees and this book would be a short story. I love history and the Low Country of South Carolina with its Spanish moss and knobby pines, but geesh, enough. I also enjoyed Minnow's youthful determination despite real and supernatural dangers, and interesting character introductions, until his second day, I'd say. The storm isn't a spoiler, but the torrent of words didn't blow me away. Admittedly, the story stirred up emotions, but the overwhelming one was ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The descriptive language is really the star of Minnow and it's my opinion that the best way to read this book is to savor the descriptions of the South Carolina Lowcountry. As a native South Carolinian (who isn't from the Lowcountry that McTeer writes about, but is familiar with it and cherishes it), I devoured this book. Another reviewer referenced The Odyssey, and that's a comparison I also made. This is a Lowcountry Odyssey, with the innocence and pure motivations of Minnow in place of the ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not sure how my rating was saved as two stars, this is one of the most beautiful, haunting books I've read in a long time. I was sorry for it to end.

The young protagonist sets out on a seemingly impossible journey, in hopes of finding medicine that will save his father's life. The setting is the swamps and islands on the Carolina shore, and is so well drawn that it feels like you're there.

I'm guessing that there are parallels to the Odyssey or other classic "journey" literature (I can feel it!)
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Huck Finn goes to the Lowcountry - as I read this book I thought it was a good YA or kids story, until the final chapters. What an unnecessary, sad, gruesome and disappointing way to end this story. Nice descriptions of lowcountry nature, but it became too repetitive. I enjoyed much of this book, but Minnow's trip home totally ruined the read. Too bad
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Received an ARC of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Really enjoyed this book. Great imagery. My only complaint is that the ending wrapped up more quickly than I would have liked. The main character went on a long journey and then all of a sudden it ended and the book ends.
Sharon Ivey-Swofford
I didn't think I'd ever finish this little book.
Nikki Hankins

This wasn't a terrible story but not my cup of tea. Way too much descriptions, detailed and constant descriptive writing. And the ending was a total let down.
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