Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kregel Publishing (Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure)

The "extreme bookworm" in our home was pleased that we received another book to review for the TOS Crew. This time it was a paperback "historical western", Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure a Circle C adventure by Susan Marlow, intended for ages 8-12.($7.99)

Here's the description for this book from the website:
When innocent horseplay temporarily lands Andi and her friends in jail, they decide that a trip into the mountains will leave their troubles far behind. Accompanied by big brother Mitch and armed with a map showing old gold diggings, they can't wait to strike it rich. What could be better than two weeks of camping and horseback riding?
But instead of gold they find heaps of trouble -- trouble that leaves Mitch gravely wounded. Andi needs help fast. But who can she trust? And what good is a bag of gold when her beloved brother lies near death in the middle of nowhere?

I immediately handed the book over to my bookworm, and off she went.
Not long after, when she had finished the book, I asked her opinion. She was rather ambivalent about giving it, which meant that while she didn't HATE it, she wasn't overly thrilled by it either. Her main comment was that she didn't think her 9+ year old brother should read it, because it would bother him.

When I had the chance to read the book, I understood her reaction. While the plot is good, the characters are likable, and the story is well written,  I had one small "problem" that tended to be what I remembered more than the actual story. The portrayal of the activities leading to Mitch's wound, as well as the graphic description of his wound made ME flinch. To some degree, I chalk this up to my general dislike of graphic novels/movies, etc..., coupled with the slipping of society's standards in general. It's been a long time since I've picked up a Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey western novel, which were written to adult audiences, but I would put this on a par with them from a "descriptive" standpoint.

Now, I do have friends and extended family members who would have absolutely no problem with this at all, but some of their early teens were also reading Tom Clancy novels, and the content of the movies and video games they allow in their homes is of a more graphic nature than we have here.

 If your family tends toward CSI, Halo, and just about anything that is on prime time TV, or are well acquainted with shoot 'em up westerns, you might find this a reasonable purchase. I am actually interested in the Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers, because of the storyline, but I don't think I would recommend these books for ages younger than 10 or 11, due to what I feel are gratuitous descriptions.

And, a gentle word of warning, if your family leans towards Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Moffats, The Saturdays, Swallows and Amazons, and the Little House books, (to name a few) you may be less interested in this book.

For more opinions, please check out the rest of the Crew's reviews, of this and another Kregel Publishing Book, "Bertie's War" As always, I hope this review helps you to find products that are a good fit for your family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Hi Lis,
    I gotta say that I appreciate your willingness to bring out the things that some folks might gloss over or not mention when reviewing books. Your thoughts allow the reviews to all balance out in the long run, which is always a good thing. :-)
    It amazes me (well, it shouldn't) the HUGE range of thoughts about these things. I had one person say that her 5-year-old loved the book (she has much-older brothers), and that really surprised me. I would never read this book aloud to anyone less than 8 or 9. And I would make sure the 8-year-old was a Bonanza or Star Wars fan first. (The Halo and CSI comparisons were a bit over the top if you ask me. I HATE that stuff and never watch that trash). LOL
    But I can certainly see your cautions. :-)

    I am a homeschooling mom, too, and I review products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Whoosh! You would not BELIEVE what I have reviewed on occasion. A few I have had to highly NOT recommend for our kids . . . of any age.

    To show you the WIDE range of us homeschoolers, take a look at the review I did of a book, and then (because if I do a negative review, she finds a balancing reviewer) the review below mine. I would NEVER let my child of any age read this thing:

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Since I'm on both sides of the reviewer/author fence, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your balancing out the review and showing the readership (if you like . . . kind of books . . . you may not like this one . . .)
    I love Anne of Green Gables, but Elsie Dinsmore (as an example) drove me absolutely NUTS. LOL

    Susan Marlow

  2. Hi, Susan~

    Thank you for taking to time to leave me such a thorough and gracious comment!

    Just a quick note~ I only know of CSI and Halo from general conversation, and the occasional TV commercial when at a friend's home ~ have never seen (and do not plan to see)them myself. They could very well be worse than what I imagine.

    I didn't mean to put your story on a par with what they portray, but did want a contemporary reference, since a lot of folks I know don't remember the likes of Bonanza or Gunsmoke. Seems like there isn't much middle ground for comparison anymore. (Sigh)

    So... For anyone following this conversation, I would like to say: "Andrea Carter" in no way resembles CSI or Halo ~ but if those shows don't bother you, then you will probably find "Andrea Carter" to be rather tame (That's more in line with what I was thinking, and a little more precise).

    Oh, and Susan~ I tend to agree with you on the Anne/Elsie front, as does my daughter... :)

    PS... the book you reviewed... WOW... I'll stick with Frank Peretti...when my kids are much older~ Thank you for your review! :)


Thanks so much for letting me know you were here. I appreciate "thoughtful" comments. :)


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