Daniel: The Age of Epimetheus
Friesen Press (2018)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/18)
During the spring of 1929, a young man named Daniel French was educating himself on the economics of that time. As a twelve-year-old, he was personally able to witness the devastating effects of the depression in the south. Further research and the chance to speak with knowledgeable men gave Daniel the belief that a huge depression was going to hit the whole United States. Wanting to warn people about this, so that they could prepare, Daniel sets out on a mission, with some of his friends, to educate others and to help gather contributions for relief funds to help people who have already been hit.
In “Daniel: The Age of Epimetheus” by Peter Pactor, Daniel gets to meet with famous people such as: President Hoover, Governor of New York Roosevelt, Napoleon Hill, and Will Rogers. There were notable people whose names are not so well known to us now, but in this story, they believed in Daniel and were willing to listen. Not everybody was so accepting of Daniel’s warnings partly because they found it hard to accept financial advice from a twelve-year-old. Others had issues because they saw him as a threat, especially one banker. Daniel persevered with his mission and was also to raise money to help buy out some of the farmer’s mortgages so that they didn’t lose everything. He was a modern-day Epimetheus in that he wanted to share his knowledge with others, by meeting with them to show them that by caring and working with each other, they could be helped.
I enjoyed reading “Daniel: The Age of Epimetheus,” it was an eye opener that made me realize how difficult things were for people when the Great Depression started to hit. Even though this was a fictional story, the author, Peter Pactor, did a great job of bringing it to life, so that it seemed real. At the end of the story, the author also provides a list of non-fiction books for further reading so that readers can gain more information about this era. I feel this book would make a great reading selection for middle school or high school classes like history or economics. Students will be able to relate to Daniel’s age, and in turn have an opportunity to learn about the precursors to The Great Depression from a well written fictional story.