About the Book:
Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch-along with Aunt Rose, that is.
No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts-a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned. Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills.
Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?
Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post-Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.
About the Book:
Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t nso far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle.
When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves?
River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways–and lots of gold!
To say that we are Susan K. Marlow fans in the house would probably be an understatement – I reviewed book 1 in the Goldtown Adventure series last year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew and I’ve read others like the Circle C Beginnings. In order to get this review up I didn’t have the chance to read these out loud to my three children, I know my son is going to enjoy these next books (that reminds me, I need to buy #2!) because of the adventures of Jem. Geared for boys, girls would also enjoy them as Jem has a sister, Ellie, who likes to join in on all the adventures. I read each book in just about an hour – so they make a quick read, although when reading out loud it takes me longer as I become very relaxed while reading and get sleepy and even as an adult I was on the edge of chair while reading.
While there is suspense it’s not enough that it would make a child fearful and of course Jem is surrounded by a loving father and a doting aunt that helps explain rough situations and also helps them get found when lost. There isn’t a lot of faith involved, while Jem does say a few prayers, the books are not chock full of the Gospel or being an evangelistic tool – although unbelievers may see Christ through reading the books. Jem’s dad and his aunt’s faith are evident and do shine through – only one issue bothered me about the book and that is when Jem and his cousin skipped Sunday School to go try to find Jem’s missing horse and there was little consequences involved. Given the time of the book this would not have been something that his aunt, his father or the Sunday School teacher would have let slide without even a word given.
Again, we are Susan K. Marlow fans and these books will be on my bookshelf for a long while as all three children, even the one who is too old, will enjoy reading them. Short and fast paced these books are awesome for the boy in your life who needs a good, Christian boy – albeit a fictional one – to look up to and your girl will enjoy Ellie’s sense of adventure while also recognizing her brother as a protector. If you’re a homeschooler like me you’ll like the added fact that you can download a free study guide for each of the books on Susan’s website – or if you don’t want to download and print they can also be purchased if you’d like to take the books a step further than just reading.
(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws