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Taming the Fire Within by Jan Hunter

Taming the Fire Within explores the relationship between an adolescent and his grandfather, showing how each grows from the experience. Most of us remember times when we felt left out, unheard, and thought no one would understand. This book takes a look at the universality of these feelings. As Granddad slowly begins to talk about his tour in Vietnam, he and his grandson are able to connect in a way that allows each of them to feel less angry and alone.”



Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2018

Taming the Fire Within is perfect young adult fiction for military “brats” everywhere. Jan Hunter provides a vivid but nuanced portrayal of a rebellious teenager immersed in a military family that sets typically high standards and expectations for their children. In this context, the author weaves a wonderful tale of healing between a Vietnam veteran grandfather struggling with latent PTSD and his grandson, tortured by his own set of demons. Jan Hunter unpacks the teenage mind with an authenticity seldom seen in the genre. This book is the ideal gift for any teenage grandchild of a military veteran.


Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2017

As a retired teacher like the writer, I can remember kids like Max and Jeff. Ms. Hunter has nailed their behavior and language. The setting is my beloved Blue Ridge mountains, so I enjoyed the boys' outdoor antics. Naturally, messing around in streams and mud with a romping dog would help heal the fire within. Max brings healing to his grandfather, the retired Vietnam fighter pilot, as the 15-year-old learns better ways to handle anger at the world. The boys' hijinks jeopardize them both, but wisdom and luck prevail to bring all to a good conclusion. I know just the boy I am going to give my copy of Fire to.

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