Wow! I can’t believe it has been almost eight years since my children were introduced to Kregel Publications and the Christian-based literature it publishes. One of the first authors we read from the company was Susan K. Marlow. At the time, I had a horse lover (still do) and everything was about Andi and her adventures in Circle C Beginnings (series continues with the Circle C Ranch as Andi grows up) from Marlow. Not long afterwards, Marlow introduced her Goldtown Adventures series, geared towards boys. The series was perfect for River and Canyon and they both enjoyed the stories.
Now, Marlow brings us the Goldtown Beginnings series with Jem Strikes Gold (book #1) and Jem’s Frog Fiasco (book #2). Readers are taken back to the early days when Jeremiah “Jem” Coulter was a seven-year-old little boy. We originally met Jem in the Goldtown Adventures series, so we were familiar with him.
Jem Strikes Gold
There is nothing worse than a bully and readers get to see how Jem handles himself against the incessant behavior of Will, a rich boy who loves to give Jem a hard time. Another mouth to feed ends up being help that comes in an unlikely manner bringing the bullying to an end.
Jem’s Frog Fiasco
Jem is now the proud owner of Nugget, a dog, and gets a job “froggin'” (catching frogs), to earn money for dog food. His focus on catching bullfrogs causes him to be insensitive to his sister Ellie, who soon goes missing. Again, help comes in an unlikely manner in the search for Ellie.
We meet the Coulter family during the 1800s during a time when panning for gold was a viable job. Those who did not pan made their money through good hard work like washing laundry and baking goods as Jem’s mother did. The father was not the only one who worked to support the family. Everyone, even children, contributed if they were able. Jem and Ellie reminded me of my children with their efforts to do whatever was necessary to ease the burden of feeding Nugget, a pet they both wanted. Marlow gives readers insight into what life was like during the gold rush period. Jem and Ellie remind readers of carefree days spent outside having fun (rather than indoors on electronics).
Each book includes a section with new vocabulary words that readers will see throughout the stories. To enhance the learning and fun, Marlow includes coloring and activity pages that are available on the Goldtown Adventures website.
I love Marlow’s books series. Although the main character Jem in the Goldtown Beginnings series is a boy, Marlow writes her stories where they are appealing to both boys and girls. Elementary age children will enjoy reading this series.
The last time we shared a Marlow book together, Canyon was not yet a reader, so we used the books as a read alouds. This time around, he was able to read the book on his own. I was happy to present him with books that kept him engaged and where I did not have to worry about the content. We are ready for books #3, #4 and more.
If you are looking for a book series your son or daughter may enjoy, check out the Goldtown Beginnings Series. It is good, wholesome reading for your children,
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase both books of the Goldtown Beginnings Series for $5.99 each.
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