HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A Hound for Hannah
Author: Eric E. Wiggin
Publisher: Emerald Books, 1995
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading Level: Ages 12-16
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Wiggin, Eric E. A Hound for Hannah (published in 1995 by Emerald Books, Lynnwood, WA). “Hannah’s Island” is a six-volume series, the first of which is entitled A Hound for Hannah, all written by Eric E. Wiggin, published by Emerald Books of Lynnwood, WA, and set in rural Maine. First of all, let me note an interesting connection. We have used the Mott Media Classic Curriculum in our home school. It centers on the McGuffey Readers, Ray’s Arithmetics, and Harvey’s Grammars. The Harvey’s Grammars have been modernized and answer keys are provided by you guessed it Eric E. Wiggin. Born on a farm at Albion, ME, in 1939, Wiggin has been a minister, schoolteacher, and newspaper-man in the Pine Tree State, and is thus intimately familiar with the area. It is interesting too that the home schooling family in the Hannah’s Island series uses the McGuffey Readers also.
The first of the series, A Hound for Hannah, is really not so much a mystery as it is a background setting for the following books. The “Hannah’s Island” books deal a lot with relationships between Hannah, her older brother Walt, their parents, other family members, and friends. There is less emphasis on excitement and adventure, so this series would probably be more appropriate for the 12-16 age group rather than the 8-12, and may appeal more to girls, although boys can enjoy them too.
Hannah Parmenter lives with her family at a lodge, which her parents bought and run as a tourist hotel, on Beaver Island in Maine’s Moosehead Lake. Hannah and Walt are homeschooled but do attend a “Christian school” in nearby Laketon – which I believe is a fictitious town – from time to time to get some things that they do not get in home school. The books are not mysteries in the classic sense, but they do involve mysterious circumstances which Hannah investigates and finds the answers. There are many good lessons about perseverance, exercising caution, and the importance of planning.
In the second book, Hannah finds a sunken steamboat not far from their island. In the third book, a mysterious stranger appears who eventually moves his family to the one area on the island that the Parmenters do not own and he becomes their friend. In the fourth book, Hannah discovers an ancient Indian (Native American) burying ground on the island. In the fifth book, she discovers an underground vault dug by a previous resident where he housed some mastadon bones which he found. I liked this one best of all because it gives a very passionate defense of creationism over evolution. The sixth book involves Hannah’s participation in a rodeo.
The Hannah’s Island books are very wholesome with respect for parents, belief in prayer, regular church attendance, an emphasis on helping people in need, and no bad language. They do present a fairly typical denominational view of religion, so there are a few things to which we might object. But as I have said before, it is easier for me to explain those things to children than fornication, drug abuse, and filthy language. I ordered the books from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Publishing, P. O. Box 55757, Seattle, WA 98155; phone: 1-800-922-2143, although they may also be available from other sources. I enjoyed reading them and would certainly recommend them, but, again, for a slightly older age group. [This series now seems to be out of print.]