HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Something’s Fishy
Author: Sandy Larsen
Illustrator: Wanda Taylor
Publisher: Merritt Park Press, 1999
Related website: www.merrittpark.com (publisher)
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 10-14
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Larsen, Sandy. Something’s Fishy (published in 1999 by Merritt Park Press, 3912 W. 7th St., Duluth, MN 55807; moved to 910 N. Elm St., Greenville, IL 62246). This is volume 3 of the “Jackpine Point Adventure” series. I have met and talked with the author at a couple of homeschool conferences. In the series, five friends, David, Brownie, Dillon, Cathy, and Marmy, all live at Jackpine Point, which is apparently somewhere in Minnesota or Wisconsin on Lake Superior, and attend Bell Harbor Middle School. In Something’s Fishy, they all plan to go on a father-son fishing trip, which becomes a parent-child trip, then just an adult-kid trip. But the most obnoxious kid they know, whom they have nicknamed “Luke the Spook,” also ends up going and getting lost when the adult that he’s with becomes ill and has to be take to the hospital by a couple of the other dads. Then the other kids get lost looking for him. Along the way there are a spooky cabin, screams in the night, and disappearing canoes.
Billed as “mystery/comedy” series, the books are written in a somewhat “tongue-in-cheek-y” style that is evidently intended to appeal to pre-teen and early teen readers. There is nothing objectionable, religion is presented as a normal part of people’s lives, and moral values are emphasized. The character trait stressed in Something’s Fishy is perseverance. The only thing that those of us associated with churches of Christ would disagree with is that the fishing trip was sponsored by a church, yet they missed Sunday morning church services to go on it. The other books in the series are The Re-Appearing Statue (#1), Ice Festival (#2), and The Dark Lighthouse (#4). Merritt Park Press also has curriculum that uses the books to help young people develop their writing skills. I enjoyed reading the book and would like to obtain the other three.