Canyon of Danger, Goldtown Adventures #3
An excellent God-filled adventure!
Canyon of Danger is the third book in Susan K. MarlowÃ¢ÂÂs Goldtown Adventures series.
In Canyon of Danger we get to watch Jem be Ã¢ÂÂthe man of the familyÃ¢ÂÂ while his father is away. The story seems to follow a pretty standard track you see with this kind of tale Ã¢ÂÂ where everything that can, does Ã¢ÂÂ go wrong.
I wonÃ¢ÂÂt give it all away but the back of the book mentions an injured stranger, the loss of JemÃ¢ÂÂs horse and a wolf that is stalking their cattle. I will tell you that these things are just the tip of the iceberg.
I absolutely LOVE how well Susan weaves God and faith through the entire book.
These days most twelve year old boys are too busy with video games or skateboards to think much about God, so itÃ¢ÂÂs very refreshing to read about a young man who regularly calls on God and actually listens for answers.
My eleven year old son has not yet been caught up in these stories but I hope to change that very soon. If I can just get him to sit down with one of them for five minutes, IÃ¢ÂÂm confident he wonÃ¢ÂÂt be able to put it down.
I recommend these books for all young boys Ã¢ÂÂ those who know God and those who need him!
And they would make an excellent addition to a school reading list because Susan K. Marlow also has an exceptional talent for combining real events with the fictional ones. That makes them educational as well as fun!
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review!
April 16, 2014
Rife with boy-adventure
I found Canyon of Danger a book rife with boy-adventure, learning to mature and trust, and boys being adventurous boys. Jem's adventures involving trying to shoot the wolf that killed one of their cattle and instead shooting a man, of having his horse and Pa's rifle stolen, of trying to find the thieving rascals will keep the reader glued to the pages. The exciting rescue and revelation at the end is predictable but still great.
A terrific read for boys 8-12 or girl's, too. Boys will love it for the all-boy feel it has in the character development and super high level of adventure that is sure to enthrall and entertain.
I recommend this and the others in the series for home, school, and public libraries
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary review copy to facilitate this review.
April 15, 2014
Wholesome Historical Fiction for Boys & Girls
Jem Coulter has the chance at being "the man of the family" while his Pa escorts a prisoner. Jem takes his job seriously with unpredictable results. Their livestock have been troubled by a wolf and Jem is determined to catch the culprit. Unfortunately, he manages to "catch" something other than a wolf which sets into motion a whole cascade of troubles. Will he ever get things turned right? And will he manage to reclaim the family's stolen horse and his father's rifle? I loved the portrayal of Jem and his family. I think both girls and boys will enjoy the sense of danger and uncertainty of not knowing who can be trusted. I really enjoyed the historical flavor; young readers learn about the Pony Express through one of the characters.
My 9 year old daughter thought it was a great book and enjoyed it very much. She said, "The book Canyon of Danger is a mystery and an adventure for Jem when his Pa leaves. It was just a great book!"
At the end of each book, the author includes historical notes explaining a bit more of the time period. I love how accessible history becomes through these great stories! Marlow creates just enough suspense and feeling of danger without going too far--a very fine balance when writing for this age. The author really creates an authentic feeling for the time and place that helps kids feel like they know just what it was like living in that time period.
One thing that I really appreciate about Marlow is the exceptional resources she has (both free and for sale) to accompany her books. She has free coloring pages and also other activities you can purchase to accompany the books.
Even though I had not read books 1 and 2 of the Goldtown Adventures, I had no problem "getting into" the story line and understanding the characters. These books can stand alone but trust me--you'll want them all! They are a nice length for either reading aloud or reading independently. Marlow has done an outstanding job filling a need for wholesome literature for the advancing reader. Kids will learn a lot about history in very engaging way. I can't recommend these highly enough for both boys and girls.
(I received Canyon of Danger for the purpose of review).
April 14, 2014
Great Series for Boys (and Tomboys!).
Jeremiah Ã¢ÂÂJemÃ¢ÂÂ Colter is stoked. His pa left him in charge of the ranch while he escorts a criminal to a nearby townÃ¢ÂÂpart of his job as sheriff of Goldtown. JemÃ¢ÂÂs anxious to prove heÃ¢ÂÂs worthy of the responsibility.
When a calf turns up dead, Jem suspects a wolf. The Colter family canÃ¢ÂÂt afford to lose their livelihood, four hooves at a time, and wait for Pa to get home. Jem takes his fatherÃ¢ÂÂs rifle and his trusty horse, Copper, and sets up a stakeout.
Plans and pride go askew when Jem gets trigger-happy at the first sign of trouble. Something in the shadows catches his attention and he shoots. Turns out to be a person, not a wolf!
Jem has to help this mysterious strangerÃ¢ÂÂwho wonÃ¢ÂÂt give him any information other than his name: Rafe. The Colter boy manages to get Rafe back to the barn where he enlists the help of his Aunt Rose to nurse the injured young man. How is Jem going to explain this to Pa?
With little sister Ellie in tow, Jem heads into Goldtown to pick up some medicine for Rafe. Along the way, Copper loses a shoe which means an extra stop at the blacksmith.
While in town things, somehow, manage to get worse. CopperÃ¢ÂÂalong with PaÃ¢ÂÂs expensive rifleÃ¢ÂÂis stolen! Jem knows itÃ¢ÂÂs entirely his fault . . . if he hadnÃ¢ÂÂt shot at the first thing that moved, he could have avoided all the rest of the blunders of the day.
Still, with Pa gone for many more days, Jem knows he canÃ¢ÂÂt just sit around and wait. He has to do something. It should be easy enough to track Copper, minus one shoe, in the mud of Goldtown.
Over the next few days, Jem is able to find a few clues and also learn some things about Rafe. Rafe used to be a professional tracker! Seems like just what Jem needs to find Copper . . . until Rafe disappears just like everything else.
Jem Colter is young man with big heart, honorable intentions, and a lot of growing pains. His latest adventure "Canyon of Danger" is the third book in the Goldtown Adventures series. Author Susan K. Marlow gives us another grand adventure in the late 1800Ã¢ÂÂs, and this is probably my favorite story thus far. This series is a winner if you are looking for tween chapter books that are wholesome, full of fun and good old fashion lessonsÃ¢ÂÂwithout being preachy.
As a writer, it can be difficult to merely enjoy a book without noticing the writing glitches. In fact, about the same time I received "Canyon of Danger" from Kregel (for free, in exchange for my honest review), I purchased a Christian-adult suspense novel from a prolific, popular author (with a big-time publisher). I rarely read two novels at once but it turned out to be a lesson on what makes for Ã¢ÂÂgood writing.Ã¢ÂÂ
Though "Canyon" is written to a much younger audience, I was drawn into the story and captured by the adventure. On the other hand, I had a difficult time enjoying the more well-known author and felt like much of the suspense story sounded cliche, often wasnÃ¢ÂÂt believable, and landed flat. I forced myself to read it, since IÃ¢ÂÂd paid good money for it, but I wonÃ¢ÂÂt waste my income with that particular author in the future.
That was a good lesson for me! Quality writing transcends age and genre and gives you a satisfying read. Susan Marlow has that gift and I hope youÃ¢ÂÂll let your kiddos discover this series. The stories would contribute to great read-aloud times for your family as well!
December 4, 2013