Recent Posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Badge of Honor

This is a review.

I just read a book my Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications called Badge of Honor.

This book is the first in the series of the Goldtown Adventures.  Which is probably exactly what you think....a book about finding gold in a place called Goldtown, California back in 1864.  (Which, for you history buffs, was at its peak from 1848 to 1855.)

This book is meant to be read by 8 to 13 year olds.  It has the look of being a "boy" book, but I think girls would enjoy it too, even though the main character is a boy.  He has a sister that wants to get in on most of the action too.

I had intended this book to be for  A-man, who is 8.  I forgot one simple thing about the boys that live in my house (Rainman and D-man included....although I have knocked some sense into D-man)...they don't love fiction books.  There I said it.  They like non-fiction and reference books.  Weird, I know.

A-man gets just as excited to head to the library as all the other kids. A-man comes to me with a pile as deep as the other kids.  But, there is one difference....his books are always non-fiction.  Books that have facts about spiders, and wasps and snakes, or the Titanic.

I thought for sure this book about a boy near his age that was living in a goldtown mixed with the fact that there was a mystery to solve (a dried up creek and a missing prospector) would suck him in.  It didn't.

In our house during the summer months, I don't put many limits on screen time (either T.V. or computer)....unless there is a lot of fighting.  My only rule is that you have to read at least 2 chapters a day before you get on the computer.

So, A-man started the book.  And then he and I fought about him finishing it.  If I would have been smart, I would have set aside time to read it aloud.  That has worked in the past, but, I think with everything going on around here and trying to sell the house, I didn't think of it.

So, this review is from my perspective, as someone who did read the book (enjoyed it too!) and how it could be used in your house.

The first thing I will talk about is the story.  To me, it was great.  It moved along quickly.  There were twists and turns.  There was even true bad guys and actual life and death situations.  Makes you think about how much more kids were responsible for back in these days, you know?

But the parts that I liked the best were the thoughts and conversations around scripture and how the characters used prayer, God, and scripture to make decisions in the book.  It seemed very real....and not just put in the book to make it a Christian book.  The thoughts and conflicts that the characters had felt real, their prayers felt real, their thought processes felt real. 

There is a free enrichment guide available for free that you can use alongside the book.  Obviously, with A-man not being into this book, we didn't use it.  But, for that magical day when he will embrace fiction, it will be there waiting for us. 

The enrichment guide covers things like vocabulary for words like - obliged; tomfoolery; or, an Arkansas toothpick.  Emoji There are also comprehension questions and a bit of character analysis too.

At 140 pages, for me, this was a super easy book.  For A-man it was too daunting right now, but since I have decided to let go and let  God when it comes to our housing situation, I can use all that time I was using worrying to read aloud to the kids and that will count as their reading time before heading to the "screens".

It really is a great book.  It has action, adventure, spiritual awareness, Godly characters to emulate and true to life examples of how you feel about other people sometimes.

I am going to read it aloud to A-man, S-girl and even V-girl sometime before school starts.  I imagine that A-man will want to read book 2 on his own.  Fingers crossed.  Plus, there is a third book in the series coming this fall.....

You can get a copy of Badge of Honor for $7.99 or go ahead and get the two books in the series for $13.95.  There is also a series by the same author called the Circle C series about life on a ranch that looks pretty interesting too.

Take a look and see what other TOS Reviewers thought of Susan Marlow books