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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

Also by Max Elliot Anderson:

Terror at Wolf Lake
Legend of the White Wolf
Mountain Cabin Mystery
The Newspaper Caper
North Woods Poachers
Secret of Abbott's Cave


Big Rig Rustlers
by Max Elliot Anderson
ages 9-12 160 pages Baker Trittin Concepts October 2004 Paperback    

For city slickers Todd and Amanda, the chance to spend a week at their uncle’s ranch in Wyoming is fraught with equal parts excitement and worry. The excitement part comes from the chance to see and live the life of ranchers. The worry part, particularly for ten-year-old Amanda, is having to spend time away from their parents in an unfamiliar place. The children soon get used to living in a rugged cabin surrounded by vast expanses of nothing and enjoy hobnobbing with their cousin Drew.

Max Elliot Anderson sets up the rapidly unfolding plot by means of several action packed set pieces. The ranch is in the imminent danger of being hit upon by rustlers who have mounted a big-scale operation in the area. Adding to the intrigue is the character of Travis, a young ranch worker with a troubled past who may or may not be helping the rustlers. Anderson maintains the suspense till the very end and offers a very believable and satisfying denouement.

There is an interesting subtext in the story that adds a particular nuance to the book. As twelve-year-old Todd uncovers Travis’ past and attempts to find evidence to link the ranch hand’s involvement with the rustlers, he sees a parallel between his own actions and those of the villains. For Todd is not a pristine child. He has a habit of running with the wrong crowd at school and has broken the law several times, albeit through minor trespasses. He has never been caught but carries the guilt with him to Wyoming. Anderson juxtaposes the motives of the rustlers with that of Todd and allows the young boy to resolve it in a brave and courageous way. Since the book is targeted to young readers, the resolution of a typical dilemma – does one go with the crowd even when the crowd is doing something wrong? – is sure to strike a chord. Anderson’s adventure story goes beyond the mundane by confronting head on basic moral issues faced by children.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Ram Subramanian/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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