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David Richardson
An Empty House Doesn't Sneeze

An Empty House Doesn’t Sneeze renders life on the home front through the watchful eyes of 15-year-old Scotty Johannsen as WWII rages across the globe.  Against the backdrop of blackouts, bomb shelters, rationing, and victory gardens, Scotty and his friends follow the rhythms of yesteryear, weaving their wartime worries through the “wilds” of Seattle’s Ravenna Park, where their imaginations run free. 

Into this fragile balance a neighborhood threat emerges: Someone is lighting fires during the mandatory blackouts.  Scotty, whose father is an air raid warden, is soon caught up in the firebug mystery and tries to smoke the arsonist out.  When the local bully throws suspicion on Scotty’s draft-age brother, and when even his best friend’s actions don’t seem to add up, Scotty must navigate a moral and ethical thicket while treading a path toward maturity.  Even as scarcity slips into every nook and cranny, An Empty House Doesn’t Sneeze celebrates a youthful spirit and hearkens to simple pleasures, where free time and family abound.

David Scott Richardson’s An Empty House Doesn’t Sneeze is a work of historical fiction set in 1943 in the Pacific Northwest.  A heartwarming and playful coming-of-age adventure, this novel is suitable for MG/YA and the young at heart.  It contains no gratuitous language, but there are a few slurs that are true to the historical setting and swear words—in keeping with the characters and story.