HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Danny Orlis and the Strange Forest Fires
Author: Bernard Palmer
Illustrator: David Miles
Publisher: Sword of the Lord Publishers, republished in 2008
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 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Palmer, Bernard. Danny Orlis and the Strange Forest Fires (published in 1955 by Moody Press; republished in 2008 by Sword of the Lord Publishers, P. O. Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN 37133). Danny Orlis lives with his parents in a log cabin at Angle Inlet, MN, near Pine Creek on the Lake of the Woods. A couple of new kids named Morris or Tip and Bonnie or Trixie Blanshard, are staying with their parents in one of the Orlis’s rental cabins while Mr. Blanchard, an agent of the L & R Paper Company, is building them a home on one of the islands. The Blanshards have not been well received in the community because of rumors that Ed Blanchard is there to start the process of cutting down the forest. Danny himself has reservations, but he wants to do a good job of representing Christ.
As the kids explore the islands, they come across a small forest fire that is just starting. They are able to put it out, but there doesn’t seem to be a good explanation for why it started in the first place. Then Mr. Blanshard has a strange accident, the cabin that he has been working on is burned, another fire starts, and the mystery deepens. An Indian chief friend invites them to a powwow so they can look for clues to the strange happenings. What is going on with the fires? Why are the Blanshards really there? And will the paper company begin taking all the trees?
Danny Orlis is an unabashedly Christian fiction series for youth by American author Bernard Palmer (1914-1998). It was created in 1954 and published predominantly by Moody Press of Chicago. There is the typical evangelical teaching of being saved simply by confessing sin, trusting in Jesus, and praying for forgiveness. Aside from that, no bad language or other objectionable elements are to be found. And some important moral principles are emphasized. In Danny Orlis and the Strange Forest Fires, Danny learns a lesson about believing rumors. Some may feel that the preaching comes on a little strong, but for the most part, I agree with the reviewer who said, “Can’t go wrong with Danny Orlis.”