Scared, On the Edge of the World Series #1   -     By: Tom Davis
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Scared, On the Edge of the World Series #1

David C. Cook / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Once an award-winning photojournalist, Stuart Daniels is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and depression. Given one last chance to redeem himself, he accepts a make-or-break assignment covering the AIDS crisis in Africa. In an unexpected encounter, Stuart meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival. Soon both their lives are changed forever! 288 pages, softcover from Cook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 X 0.63 (inches)
ISBN: 1589191021
ISBN-13: 9781589191020
Series: On the Edge of the World

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Publisher's Description

Stuart Daniels has hit bottom. Once a celebrated and award-winning photojournalist, he is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and crippling depression. The source of Stuart's grief is his most famous photo, a snapshot of brutality in the dangerous Congo. A haunting image that indicts him as a passive witness to gross injustice.

Stuart is given a one last chance to redeem his career: A make-or-break assignment covering the AIDS crisis in a small African country. It is here that Stuart meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival in a community ravaged by tragedy and disease. But in the face of overwhelming odds, Adanna finds hope in a special dream, where she is visited by an illuminated man and given a precious gift.

Now, in a dark place that's a world away from home, Stuart will once again confront the harsh reality of a suffering people in a forgotten land. And as a chance encounter becomes divine providence, two very different people will find their lives forever changed.

Author Bio

Tom Davis is an author, consultant, and the president of Children's HopeChest ( a Christian-based child advocacy organization helping orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa. His first book, Fields of the Fatherless has sold over 60,000 copies. Tom holds a Business and Pastoral Ministry degree from Dallas Baptist University and a Master's Degree in Theology from The Criswell College.


“As you see, Mr. Daniels, fear is a way of a life here,” Stuart Daniels’s driver tells him in Scared by Tom Davis. And that is in the safe part of Swaziland.

But Daniels knows all about fear from his last trip to Africa, the trip that made him a world-famous photographer and destroyed his life. His marriage is on the rocks, he’s drinking too much, and he has one last chance to save his job by going back to Africa to take pictures for British journalist Gordon Clandish who now lives in Swaziland.

Twelve-year-old Adanna is hungry daily, almost starving. Her father, a long- distance trucker, long ago left the family and all presume he is dead. Her mother is dying of AIDS. Much of the care of her younger brother and sister falls to her. After having a vision of an “Illuminated Man” who loves her and promises to bring her home after giving her a gift for her country, Adanna prays to the Illuminated Man when the terrors of her life surround her. Christian men like Pastor Walter and Tagoze, the chief’s brother, try to protect and provide for the starving children, unlike the average man of the area.

When Stuart meets with Gordon and some of his contacts, strange things begin to happen. At a church service he hears a voice telling him to feed His sheep. He sees dignity in a man dying of AIDS. But the greatest change in Stuart comes from meeting Adanna in the midst of her suffering. Their impact on each other affects not only themselves but Adanna’s whole community.

Based on true people and events which are fictionalized, Scared is a powerful story told in the voices of Adanna and Stuart. It is not a light, frothy story. It tells the importance of the one, as in the one lost sheep or coin, and the importance of the one who commits himself to helping others. It takes the reader into the heart of the AIDS crisis raging throughout much of Africa. Although he discusses the effect on adults, Davis concentrates on the children, the hunger, the lack of protection from male predators, the insecurity, the confusion, the lack of education, and the vastness of the devastation. He also shows people like Pastor Walter, based on a real person, who allows his own family to suffer some hunger so that other children might not starve.

The story is engrossing and well written, its main weakness being some stiff dialogue about two-thirds through the book. The primary message of Scared is that of “pure and undefiled religion” from James 1:27. Davis, an accomplished author and the CEO of Children’s HopeChest, includes discussion questions and an interview about the story’s background and his work. If you thought A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was well written, try Scared. – Debbie W. Wilson,

Publisher's Weekly

Nonfiction author Davis (Fields of the Fatherless) makes his fiction debut with a story about two people worlds apart who help each other find redemption. An orphan girl in Swaziland endures her uncle's abuse through visions of “the illuminated man” who she believes will take her to her dead mother’s side. When photographer Stuart Daniels discovers the girl near death, he enlists a pastor and a village chief to help her and her two siblings. Facing floods, confronting and aid agency's fraud, and absorbing a brutal attack by one of many desperate starving people may be the only path toward atonement for Stuart’s past life. Davis shows insight into African cultures and his writing is vivid, but the novel is weakened by shifts in tense and point of view and lack of patience for character transformation. The novel is the first of three; the series could become popular if the quality of the writing can improve enough to do justice to the passion with which the author champions his cause. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. Perkiomenville, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great read!
    October 15, 2010
    Joan K. Landis
    Perkiomenville, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Tom Davis - This is a hit! What a great story about how God can restore the crumbled pieces of our lives. This was also a good education on the AIDS crisis in Africa and all the innocent lives this disease effects. Good character development which made the reader FEEL the words on the page. I would certainly recommend this book.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 7, 2010
    Melissa Teakell
    If you want to read a fun, lighthearted story put this book on the back burner. If you want to feel good about your life and the way you live in it, don't open a single page. If you want to feel like you are doing enough and don't want a challenge or you enjoy your ignorance of what is going on to people in this world, don't even - wait; I dare you to read this book and remain as you are.Tom Davis brings to life a fictional story that is all too real for far too many. Seen through the eyes of a photojournalist, the horrors of poverty in Africa are revealed. It's not a fairytale story where everyone gets everything they want, but it's a glimpse of truth set with the hope of God's salvation for the "least of these" as well as those with plenty. The reality of what the character sees while on his assignment have an impact on him, as well as with me. I felt as he did with eyes newly opened to see the real people, children with names, instead of statistical numbers representing those dying of starvation and AIDS every day. It was heartbreaking and challenging. It was a difficult book to read, not literally, but emotionally. I couldn't put it down, but it wrenched my soul.It is a call to those who have been given much. In as much as I have been given financially, I could also use some of the complete faith and trust in Jesus that they have to share with me. If you choose to read this book, realize that you will be challenged in the way you live your comfortable, safe life
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 28, 2010
    i blog 4 books
    Scared is what I would call realistic fiction. The entire book (characters, places, events) is based on the reality of life in Swaziland, a small country in Africa where almost 50% of the people suffer from HIV/AIDS. It's hard to read ... or maybe I should say, it's hard to stomach what you're reading. It's hard to read about children who fill the role of head of household, men who rape girls in their family, drought, flood, famine, an AIDS crisis that could cause an entire country to become extinct if things don't change. If it was pure fiction, it would just roll off. But it's not. It's true. These things really happen. And it's tough to take in.The best part of the book, though, is not even the story. It's how it makes you feel. The characters and the things that happen to them evoke emotion. You feel like you are THERE, like you KNOW these people. I pray this book will open peoples' eyes to what is really going on in the world. And not just open their eyes but make them get up and do something about it.I would highly recommend this book to anyone. If you've been to Africa, if you haven't, if you care about the world, if you don't (especially if you don't!) ... This is a unique work of fiction in that it really moves you to action.NOTE: There are some "mature" scenes in this book. Parents might want to read this book before or with their teenage kids. It would make for great discussion!
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 23, 2010
    Andrea Schultz
    The main character in this novel is Stuart Daniels, a celebrated & award-winning photojournalist. He's grown weary from seeing horrors all over the world. And he's grown cynical over the way he earns a living. His next assignment which could make or break his career sends him back to Africa to cover the AIDS crisis in Swaziland. There, he meets an amazing young orphan named Adanna, who is fighting for survival in a ravaged & diseased community. She's been transformed after a dream featuring an illuminated man. It's an eye opener when we Americans are exposed to the poverty & corruption in these countries. Those of us who live in the suburbs dont generally see that sort of thing. Tom shows us through the life of Adanna & her little brother & sister that children in those countries dont worry about owning the latest gadget or seeing the newest movie they are concerned about when they will eat their next meal or even their next morsel. I was saddened by the corruption exhibited by a so-called relief agency & the brutality endured by innocent children & encouraged by the sheer joy of worship, all of which were portrayed in this novel. Toms characters are multi-dimensional, believable & engaging. I was rooting for all of the good ones! And he paints an elaborate & detailed landscape; I could easily picture each scene. Even though I have never physically visited Africa, Tom certainly transported me there in this novel. He is incredibly gifted in his wordsmithing & in conveying his heart of compassion for the least of these.Without giving away the end of the book, lets just say that Stuarts encounter with Adanna & the other believers in her circle have reopened his eyes to the truth of the gospel. He returns to his New York City home a changed man. Adannas story also ends with good news. This book was generously provided by Tom Davis.Ponderings by Andrea
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 1, 2010
    Rachel L. Richard
    Looking for a book that will challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable? I wasnt but it turned out to be exactly what I needed. A few months ago, I won a contest on Anne Jacksons blog to be one of several people to receive a copy of Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis. I hadnt heard of Mr. Davis but I thought Id give his novel a chance.Scared is a story about a photojournalist named Stuart Daniels. His life has hit rock bottom after witnessing and photographing the brutality in the African Congo. Stuart is sent on one last mission to redeem his career to a small African country that is in the middle of the AIDS crisis.He visits a village of young orphans and widows. In particular, he meets a little girl named Adanna. She has been forced to grow up quickly after her father left and her mother died. She is the sole caregiver for her younger siblings, Precious and Abu. Stuart is challenged to bring real hope and restoration to Africa through Adannas story.Now, in a dark place thats a world away from home, Stuart will once again confront the harsh reality of a suffering people in a forgotten land. And as a chance encounter becomes divine providence, two very different people will find their lives forever changed.I was in tears over this book. It is such an emotional read as the author describes the harsh reality of a community that is ravaged by tragedy and disease. My eyes were opened to a part of our world Id never even considered. Because of it being such a tragic yet redemptive story, Id recommend not reading this book in public unless you have tissues near by! I cannot wait until Mr. Davis releases his next book in this series: Priceless: A Novel On The Edge Of The World in June of 2010.
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