Friday, March 19, 2010

Hardy and History

Dixon, Franklin W. Thrill Ride (Book #4, Undercover Brothers series)
Joe and Frank, fresh from thwarting thieves who were stealing money from charity, head off to Uncle Bernie's Fun Park at the behest of ATAC (American Teens Against Crime) to investigate the death of a woman on a roller coaster. They find an unhappy environment there-- the employees are disgruntled, Uncle Bernie is besieged by an evil land developer, and accidents happen more often than fresh popcorn is made. Joe and Frank must, in the course of one day, rescue a mother and son from a broken Ferris wheel, stop an out-of-control carousel, and escape from drowning in a blocked water slide. Luckily, the are resourceful young men, and they not only do these things while flirting with all the girls, they solve the mystery of why things are going wrong in the part and bring the perpetrator to justice.

Whew. I can definitely see the thrill of this one! The entire series, published in paperback by Aladdin but available in prebind from both Follett and Perma-Bound, is comprised of 33 titles, but it's not necessary to buy them all. I have Extreme Danger (about dirt biking) and Foul Play (football). Boys probably like these not only for the adventure ("Bye, Dad, we're taking off on our motorcycle for a couple of days!") but for the ingenuity the brothers show in dealing with danger. Caught in a water slide? Escaping is just like being caught in a chimney rock formation while rock climbing. Of course. I, of course, read the entire book picturing the Hardy Boys like prehistoric hotties, Shaun Cassidy (Joe) and Parker Stevenson (Frank). *Sigh*

Jenkins, Beverly. Belle. (Kimani Tru, 2002)
After a grueling escape from Kentucky, Belle finds herself in Michigan at a stop on the underground railroad. She has been separated from her father and badly injured, so the affluent African-American Best family takes her in and pretends she is their niece to protect her from slave catchers. An excellent seamstress, Belle befriends the young daughter of the family and helps out as much as she can. The family is involved in an organization to both bring slaves from the South and protect the ones who make it to the North. The son, Daniel, has attended Oberlin college and is engaged to the evil Francine, but soon wearies of her selfish ways and turns his attention to Belle. This was good in historical details but primarily a romance. I will look for the sequel, Josephine, but have not been as pleased with the modern day Kimani Tru books. While it's nice to have a series with African-American characters, the ones that I have read cover more high school topics.


Doret said...

Love the new look.

The only Kimani Tru author I like is Monica Mckayhan. I've read about five other Kimani Tru authors, and the writing doesn't do it for me.

I was exicted to try one of Beverly Jenkin's novel. She's a bestselling historical romance author.

I was dissappointed with Josephine, never looked for Belle.

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