Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Rock Harbor Search and Rescue" by Colleen Coble

About the book: In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery.

Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team.

Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!

Review:  While this particular book was based on characters from the Rock Harbor series for adults, I did not have any trouble following the characters in Ms. Coble’s “Search & Rescue.”  This was an enjoyable book to read for the targeted to the 8-11 age group, I believe primarily more girls than guys would like this book, simply because the main characters are girls working to solve the mystery of stolen jewelry.

I enjoyed this book and will probably read other books written by Colleen Coble, but there are a couple of things that keep me from giving this book a 5-star review, based on the targeted age reading group.

First, Emily struggles with her fears of local stories of the Windigo monster.  This is a frequent fear throughout the book, and though Emily realizes that there is no such thing and that her faith in Christ should be stronger knowing that Christ is with her always, she struggles with the Windigo legends.  This particular facet of the book may be disturbing to young readers who may have night-time fears.  

Second, Emily, who is only 13 years old, is a little boy crazy and has two major “crushes” during the story and even finding herself alone on several occasions with one of the “crushes.”  Yet, the author never gives any type of spiritual direction for Emily’s character to “wait on God to send the right young man.”  My particular viewpoint of this aspect of Emily’s character may seem old-fashion, I believe it is critical, in this day & age, that we take every opportunity to instill the attitude of waiting on God when dealing with boy/girl crushes.  I could even go as far as to say that the author is encouraging young people to seek out a relationship because the biblical side was neglected in the story resolution..

A strong point of the book…Emily wants a rescue puppy of her own and her parents are willing to help her out with this goal; but she has to work and spend some of her own money on the puppy.  I hate to sound old fashion again, but so many kids today are just handed whatever they want.  They don’t understand the value or life lesson in working for what you want.

All this being said, I did like this book and would have no reservations about reading other books written by Colleen Coble.  I enjoyed the mystery side and the detective work of the Emily and her sidekick Olivia. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Rock Harbor Search and Rescue was provided by BookSneeze on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishers and the author, Colleen Coble for the purpose of our review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

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