HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Danny Orlis Goes to School
Author: Bernard Palmer
Illustrator: David Miles
Publisher: Sword of the Lord Publishers, republished in 2009
Related website: http://www,swordofthelord.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)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10-16
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Palmer, Bernard. Danny Orlis Goes to School (published in 1955 by Moody Press, a division of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, IL; republished in 2009 by Sword of the Lord Publishers, P. O. Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN 37133). Danny Orlis lives with his dad and mom, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Orlis, at Angle Inlet, MN, on Pine Creek near the Lake of the Woods, along with his dog Laddie and pet crow Blackie. His best friend is Jimmy Baxter. His life so far has been filled with Bible devotions and prayer, but Danny has finished the highest grade level at the Angle Inlet school, and now he is going away to attend high school at Iron Mountain in the Rockies of Colorado while living with his Uncle Claude and Aunt Lydia. Unfortunately, just before leaving he learns that they and their sons Bob and Larry are not Christians. When the plane he is traveling on has its radio signal jammed while flying through the mountains, Danny learns an important lesson about how dangerous “harmless” violations of the law can be.
However, his greatest test comes when his cousin Larry gets into serious trouble and Danny is the only one who can help him, but only if he lies. What happened on the plane? Will Danny decide to do what is right regardless of the cost? And what will the cost be if he tries to fix the situation himself by disobeying God? Bernard Alvin Palmer (1914-1998) was the author of over 165 books for young people, as well as several books for adults. His biggest and most popular series is The Danny Orlis series. Created in 1954, the series was first published by Moody Press of Chicago through 1974 and for many years was a regular feature on the weekly Back to the Bible radio broadcasts for youth in the 1950s–1980s. Some new books were published in the 1980s by Back to the Bible Publications, and some of the older ones were republished under new titles in 1989 by Tyndale Publishers. Other Danny Orlis related books by the author involve Danny’s cousin Ron Orlis and later Danny’s own children, the Orlis Twins.
This book is unabashedly “Christian,” and I assume that the same thing is true of the whole series. Many would consider the stories way too “preachy;” some would probably even say that they are hopelessly old-fashioned and out of date, but I liked this one. There may be a few statements with which some Bible believers will not concur, such as, “We’re born with a sinful nature.” However, while I may not always agree with the basis for a few of Danny’s decisions, I admire his desire to do what is right, his courage to stand up for what he believes in, and even his determination to learn from his mistakes. Young people who read the book will learn with Danny how quickly a compromising Christian loses influence and how important a consistently godly life is.