The Little Boy of the Forest

Science Fiction & Fantasy

By Joe Aarntzen

Publisher : PublishAmerica

ABOUT Joe Aarntzen

Joe Aarntzen
I was born Joseph Arnoldus Maria Aarntzen on July 30, 1953 at home in Gendt, Holland where my aunt acted as a midwife. I was the oldest of three sons born to my father Joseph Johanes Aarntzen and my mother Anna Jacoba Josephina Driessen. I was named after my two grandfathers. The name Mari More...



Jack Thurston eagerly awaited his return to Black Island, his mother’s family retreat in Canada’s wild and pristine cottage country of 1929.  Yet when the young lad of 10 arrived no one would have anything to do with him, not his grandfather, not his aunt and uncle, his cousins, not even his mother.  He soon discovered that the physical world itself would not interact with him.  He no longer possessed even the simple skill of opening a door.


The only ones that took note of him were two eerie strangers, a haggard old woman and a creepy little boy that seemed to be always lurking in the shadows.  When his grandfather suddenly took ill Jack knew that these strangers were somehow connected. The urgency of his grandfather’s condition demanded that he be rushed to the hospital at once.  The worried and distressed family went along with the dying old man.  They somehow had forgotten Jack.  He was left by himself trapped inside the cottage on Black Island with nobody other the two strangers who were trying to get in.


The Little Boy of the Forest follows Jack’s odyssey into loneliness and fear with his undying hope that one day his family will return.

The Little Boy of the Forest had two sources of inspiration, the first being based on a true story that took place in the early 1900's upon the lake where my family has a cottage.  It was late one summer afternoon while a family was preparing for supper at their summer home upon an island when tragically there young son drowned while swimming.  The family that had been coming up to the lake for years were so distraught by the accident that they immediately packed up and left and never returned.  Then in 1974 someone entered their abandoned building and discovered a table was still set for the dinner that was never eaten.  The pots on the stove contained residue of a meal that sat in it for over 60 years.

The second inspiration and where the book got its title involves me sitting with my nephew on our cottage deck.  A boy who lived next door often crossed our property on his way to visit a friend further down from us.  My nephew who was only three years old asked me who this person was and I told him that it was the Little Boy of the Forest.

Later I would combine these two influences to come up with the present novel.