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ôStudents who do not develop reading fluency, regardless of how bright they are, are likely to remain poor readers thr... More
Summary: Collin and Ramey Miller are frustrated: their mother is getting sicker, the medical bills are piling up, and there is nothing they can do to help. Or can they? The brothers are convinced that the Dark Quartz Mine is their family's salvation. Together, with the help of a fast-talking squirrel, they launch a plan to save their family and others who have been held captive in the mine for many years. This is fhe first book in this fantasy adventure series.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 to 13
Adult Reader Reaction: There is a lot to sort through in this story. The adventure is fascinating, and the detailed descriptions help set the context. The gold-extraction stuff is incredible (thank goodness for the picture). Reading "squirrel talk" can get annoying after a while. I found myself stepping over some of the details.
Pros: This is an adventure fantasy that kids will want to connect with because one of the captives is Peter Kringle, who like his more famous brother, also makes toys.
Cons: The story moves back and forth. There are several points in the book where the author hits the pause button and takes over for the narrator (Collin).
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a vivid, wild ride.