HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure
Author: Miriam Jones Bradley
Publisher: Ambassador International, 2014
Related websites: http://www.doublecousins.net (series), http://miriamjonesbradley.wordpress.com (author), http://www.ambassador-international.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 7-13
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Bradley, Miriam Jones. The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure (published in 2014 by Ambassador International, Emerald House, 427 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609). If you had a good friend and neighbor who needed thousands of dollars to fix the roof on his business, how could you help? Ten-year-old Max Rawson lives with his dad, mom, older sister Dorie, and eight-year-old brother Chad in Rapid City, SD. Their double cousins from Nebraska, ten-year-old Carly Johnson and her eight-year-old sister Molly, are visiting the Rawsons while their parents are away on a mission trip. Mr. Crosby, who lost his nephew Lee Crosby Hughes in the Rapid City flood of 1972 and never found out what had happened to him, lives and runs a store across the street, but it will take several thousands of dollars to fix the roof or the city will have to close the store down. Even though she is away from home, Carly is supposed to write a paper on the ’72 flood, so she starts doing research.
To help raise the money, the kids elicit the help of friends and neighbors, and they all work together to rake leaves and have bake sales. Yet, it isn’t enough. But Mr. Crosby has an old cash register in his store left by the previous owner who called it his “Rushmore register” and implied that it was valuable. When an antiques dealer says that it isn’t worth much, they all wonder if there’s some hidden value in it that they haven’t seen. Then a couple of thieves who overheard them break into the store, steal the cash register, and kidnap Max, Carly, and Mr. Crosby. What will happen to the three victims? Will they make enough money to save the store? Will they determine anything about the cash register’s worth? And will Mr. Crosby ever learn what happened to his nephew?
I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the two previous books in this series, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Missing Watch (2009), and The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Torn Map (2011). I really like these books because they are wholesome. The Rawson and Johnson children are all good kids. Oh, they make their share of mistakes, occasionally behaving badly or showing a wrong attitude, but they are corrected, learn their lessons, and try to do better. It is always a joy to read fictional stories about families who love one another, pray together, attend church services, and generally seek to live by faith in God. The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure illustrates the importance of helping others, community, teamwork, and learning history. I especially appreciate the way old and young interact together. In addition to all this, the elements of mystery make for exciting reading. And there is an extra bonus—the kids, at least the Rawsons, are homeschooled.