Thursday, July 18, 2013
Badge of Honor by Susan Marlow Book Review
We recently had the opportunity to review the first book in the Goldtown Adventure Series by Susan K. Marlow. We are always looking for a fun read-aloud, and Badge of Honor ($7.99 for ages 8 - 12) was a great addition to our reading time.
The time is 1864 in Goldtown, California. It has seen the last of the Gold Rush days. But "Jem" still dreams of striking it rich. His father has given up on this idea, and become a rancher. Jem does odd jobs such as selling firewood for businesses and selling frog legs to restaurants, anything to help his family out. The one thing he truly hates is going to school.
One day his father accepts the job as the town's sheriff. Gem considered that the worst thing, He didn't want to be the sheriff's kid. He already lost his mama to illness, what was going to happen if his father was hurt bad or killed by one of the town's many bar brawls.
And then his Aunt and cousin come into town to help his father raise him and his sister Ellie. How was this going to affect their lives? Gem thought they were doing good already, did they really need help?
Then Cripple Creek mysteriously dries up and one of the family's good friends disappears. Jem wants to find the answers. What happened to Cripple Creek and where is Strike?
Lydia and I read this together, along with Joey listening in. The story is written so that a child with a minimum 2nd grade reading skills could easily read this on their own. There are no large and hard to understand vocabulary words, yet it is challenging enough that children may ask or need to look up certain words if they are still learning how to use context clues to understand words.
Since Lydia is running a bit behind there, we used this as our read-aloud together. This was a easy to understand, clean mystery story (which she really likes right now). She and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be ordering the 2nd title in the series......Tunnel of Gold ($7.99 + 2.50 shipping/handling).
Joey is waiting to read this by himself when he finishes the book he is currently reading. He enjoyed reading about Jem also.
I would recommend this series as a great family read-along and also really fun history reading for the time period of the ending Gold Rush. It's a great story showing what happened to all those booming towns when the gold wasn't being found anymore.
You can purchase Badge of Honor and Tunnel of Gold separately (7.99 + 2.50 s/h a piece) or as a set for ($13.99 + 3.00 s/h). Susan Marlow has even created a free Enrichment Study Guide for each book that you can download to make sure that you child(ren) get the most that they can from these pieces of historical fiction.
Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to read the Goldtown Adventure series written by Susan Marlow, see how their families enjoyed these titles by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.