HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Canyon Quest: The Exciting Start of the Last Chance Detectives
Author: Jim Ware
Publisher: Focus Publishing, 2004
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 12 and up.
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ware, Jim. Canyon Quest: The Exciting Start of the Last Chance Detectives (copyrighted in 2004 by Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80902, and published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Wheaton, IL). Twelve-year-old Mike Fowler hates living in Ambrosia, AZ. While the Fowlers were living in Ohio six years earlier, his father was missing after an F-16 crash, so he and his mother had to move to live with his father’s parents in Ambrosia. Mike is just about ready to “run away” back to see his best friend in Ohio when he finds his father’s old journal in the B-17 that his grandfather has parked out behind the family’s “Last Chance” diner and gas station. While doing some research on what his father did as a young boy, he meets Ben, a local boy who believes in Martians and can give him a ride to the nearby Lowell Observatory where Mike’s father hung out a lot during his childhood; Spence, another local boy who is homeschooled and is studying astronomy; and Winnie, a local Navajo girl who knows the countryside very well.
Together, while looking for evidence of what Mike’s dad might have done in his youth, they investigate some strange goings on in the canyons around Ambrosia. Are they caused by Martians? or the spirits of the ancient Anasazi enemies of the Navajo? or maybe a top-secret military operation that might even involve Mike’s missing dad? The story is very exciting, especially towards the end. “The Last Chance Detectives” is a Focus on the Family audio and video series. This book explains how the four friends came to become the Last Chance Detectives. Jim Ware has written other books, such as God of the Fairy Tale: Finding Truth in the Land of Make Believe; Finding God in the Lord of the Rings; and Finding God in the Land of Narnia.