It is no surprise to anyone that knows me that I love to read and that I have passed this down to my children. My daughter reads constantly and even with my son's learning challenges he loves a good story. So I was very pleased that I was able to do another book review for one of Susan K. Marlow's books. In the past it was the Circle C adventures through Homeschoolliterature.com but this time I had the great pleasure of doing it for the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. The book was Badge of Honor which is the first book in Susan Marlow and Kregel Publications, Goldtown Adventure
The story takes place in Goldtown California in 1864 right after the famous Gold Rush. Twelve-year-old Jem and his younger sister Ellie were being raised by their father after their mother had gotten sick and died. Jem, still hoping to find gold alongside an old prospector friend named "Strike", had skipped school to do so. Matt Coulter, their father, had given up striking it rich and had bought a ranch and was trying to provide for his children with the cattle he owned. Gem tries to help his dad out by doing odd jobs around town such as delivering sawdust and catching frogs for a restaurant. What he didn't like though, was attending school.
The children's aunt Rose and cousin Nathan move to town to live with the Coulter family which turns out to be quite the culture shock for the two as they had been living in the city of Boston. Around that same time Matt Coulter has accepted the position of being Gold Rush's first sheriff, much to his son Jem's displeasure. This is when things start to get interesting. Cripple Creek dries up and their good friend Strike also disappears.
This book is a good way to introduce the history surrounding the California Gold Rush to children. Susan Marlow makes this part easy as she supplies a free study guide to go along with each book in the series. The study guide contains learning activities, vocabulary, history,discussion questions and the opportunity to do some creative writing.
The truly neat thing about this book is that the author homeschooled her own children that are now grown. Her first book series, Circle C Adventures, was targeted for a girl audience but this newest series Goldtown Adventures has a boy audience in mind. Honestly though, I think both of her book series could be enjoyed by a boy or girl. The book is recommended for age 8-12. There is no foul language in this book and the action packed adventure is very appropriate for this age group. Susan Marlow does an excellent job of drawing in a child's attention to want to learn more about the Old West.
You can purchase Badge of Honor for $7.99 plus $2.50 for shipping. Some of the other members of the Review Crew also did a reviews for the next book in the series called, Tunnel of Gold be sure to check out what they have to say about that book. Oh, and you can save when you buy buying both books together for only $13.95 plus $2 for shipping.