Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"The Secret Underground" by Natalie Bahm

Review: Secrets, danger, fear, and courage are all part of what Ally experiences during her twelfth year.  At the beginning of the story, Ally witnesses a bank robbery and is left with nightmares and memories that she just cannot forget.  She tries to divert her thoughts and fears by checking out the new backyard diggings that her brother and several neighborhood boys have begun.  To her surprise she finds that these aren’t simply forts as the boys have led everyone to believe, but are actually part of an elaborate tunneling system the boys have created.  They have their sights set on tunneling all the way to the abandoned steel mill that the boys know to be off limits, and Ally is determined to become a part of the digging gang.  Parents are unaware of the dangerous activity their kids are up to and the kids want to keep it that way.  The only problem is, the boys and girl are not the only ones who have discovered the tunnel.  Dangers beyond their imagination await them.

While I found this story very interesting and know that upper elementary aged readers would find the story fascinating, I am having a difficult time giving it a completely favorable review.  Throughout the story the children lie or are deceptive to their parents, teachers and friends.  They are involved in some very dangerous activities that could have led to devastating consequences.  The parents in the book are unengaged with their children and in the end the consequences for the kids’ behavior does not match the seriousness of what they have done.  I wish I could have given a more positive review. (rev. J.LaTour)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for our honest review. Opinions are solely those of the reviewer.

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