Title: BADGE OF HONOR
Author: Susan K. Marlow
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Genre: Young adult/western
Jem Coulter loves prospecting, and even though most of the ones who came for the gold rush are gone, Jem still finds enough specks of gold to keep his dream alive of striking it rich. Most of the miners are now working underground, hoping to find the mother lode. But while Jem dreams of striking it rich, he also sells frog legs and firewood. The first day of Spring, Jem and his sister Ellie skip school and head for the creek for frog legs—and maybe some gold hunting.
The day goes south quickly. Pa marches out to the creek, announces he’s the new sheriff and starts to escort his truant kids back to the school. But on the way, the stage coach arrives, carrying an unknown aunt and cousin. Pa sends Jem back to the ranch for the wagon when he’s summoned away to break up a dangerous fight among miners.
When things get even worse, Jem is convinced that outlaws will use Pa’s badge as target practice—but when Jem is plunged into danger—as well as his sister. Will it convince Jem that it truly is a badge of honor?
BADGE OF HONOR is the first book in Ms. Marlow’s new series Goldtown Adventures. I fell in love with Jem as well as his quick witted, tomboyish sister, and am anxious to read more about their adventures.
Jem is a character that will appeal to boys (since he is a boy) as well as girls, since there’s a sister involved. Written in Jem’s point of view, we see the rough and tumble mining town through the eyes of a twelve-year-old. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for the tweener in your life. $7.99. 144 pages.