Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure

One of the final TOS Homeschool Crew items we received was a delightful book from Kregel Publications:  Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure by Susan Marlow.  I was a little concerned when we received it -- first, it is the fifth book in a series, and while my boys are very open to reading books where a girl is the main protagonist, they are still boys, and I'm always a bit hesitant.

I needn't have worried.  First, there were a couple of references to things that (I assume) happened in previous books, but it certainly was not necessary to have read them in order.  Second, while the story is all told from Andi's perspective, there are great male characters involved too.  Obviously their stories are shown through the lens of a 13 year old girl, but she isn't male-bashing in her thoughts.

The story takes place in and around Fresno shortly after the California Gold Rush.  Andi has a friend, Jenny, visiting and they are planning a trip into the mountains with Andi's big brother Mitch.  Another friend their age, Cory, is coming along as well, and they aim to escape the summer heat and do some gold panning.

Things go dreadfully wrong, Andi learns a lot about taking on responsibility and about what is really important.  From an adult point of view, the plot was fairly predictable.  My 13 and 11 year olds enjoyed trying to figure out what was going to happen next (and they did a pretty good job of it).  But it wasn't so predictable that it wasn't still fun to read.  Since I'm assuming it is primarily parents reading this review, and you aren't likely to be terribly concerned about me giving away the ending... I feel it is necessary to point out that two very minor characters die while ambushing of Mitch, and Mitch is severely wounded.  (And the characters are 'bad guys')

We enjoyed the book, or at least everyone over age 5 did.  Trina, uncharacteristically, chose to go play rather than listen.  I think this whole series would make great reading for a tween girl this summer.  If I had girls, I would seriously look at purchasing more.  For my boys though, well, if I find some at used book sales, I'll probably pick them up.



And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about The Trouble With Treasure at:



Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive this book for free from Kregel Publications.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

2 comments:

Susan Marlow said...

Hi!
Thanks for your nice review of TWT. I, too, am always hesitant about reading a book in the middle of a series (can you imagine trying to dig into Tolkein's The Two Towers without knowing about any of the others). But I assure folks at homeschool conventions that my books are stand-alones, and it's nice when reviewers affirm this.

As far as your little Trina is concerned, she might be interested in Andi's adventures as a 6-year-old in early chapter books for beginning readers, coming out this fall (yes, that was a shameless plug, I confess. But I"m really excited about them). You have no idea how many parents say, "But don't you have anything for younger readers?"

Here's a peek at the new website, which tells a little bit about the books:
http://www.andiandtaffy.com

Thanks again for taking the time to review TWT!

SUsan

Jennifer said...

Thanl you so much for sharing this book with my Emily. :)