*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Valley of Death" (Mysteries in Our National Parks) by Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson

Wow this book surprised me! I have now read several of the Mysteries in Our National Parks books and I have been impressed by each one. I love how each of the books takes place in a new location and that Skurzynski and Ferguson are not afraid to put the characters in difficult situations. Out of the books I've read so far (planning to read the entire series) Valley of Death was by the far the most intense and the most engaging.

Jack and Ashley are lucky and get to travel to various national parks thanks to their mother's job as a veterinarian. Their latest trip is to Death Valley. The Landon's often take on foster children and this time they are traveling with a girl named Leesa. It's clear that her past is more intense than she lets on, but they won't discover just how intense until Ashley is mistaken for Leesa and is kidnapped. Suddenly this book becomes crazy suspenseful!

I have been surprised by some of the themes these books deal with. I am quite impressed with Skurzynski and Ferguson's writing style and the fact that they don't sugar coat their mysteries. Jack and Ashley actually find themselves in real danger and don't always rely on just themselves to get out of it. Like real kids, they get adults to help when needed. I really have to applaud this series and highly recommend them, and not just to those that have visited these places (though I do like the ones that take place somewhere I have visited a little more, but that's just because the visual is stronger).

Happy Reading!

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