HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Danny Orlis and the Rocks That Talk
Author: Bernard Palmer
Illustrator: David Miles
Publisher: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 2010
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 10-14
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Palmer, Bernard. Danny Orlis and the Rocks That Talk (published in 1955 by Moody Press, a division of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; republished in 2010 by Sword of the Lord Publishers, P. O. Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN 37133). Danny Orlis lives in a log cabin along Pine Creek at Angle Inlet, MN, near the Lake of the Woods, with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Orlis, and his newly adopted younger twin siblings Ron and Roxie Bauer, whose parents had died and left them about 2,000 acres of mountainous wasteland near Iron Mountain, CO, where Danny had gone to school for a time while living with his uncle Claude and Aunt Lydia Anders’s family. The twins’ “Uncle” Harold is trying to steal the land. So Danny goes off to Colorado to investigate the mystery for his father. There, he teams up with his cousin Larry and Larry’s friend Jerry (Kit) Carson to see if maybe there is something valuable on the property.
While up in the mountains, Danny, Larry, and Kit are captured by an old prospector named Jim Harrison, who mistakes them for representatives of the company that has plans to build a highway nearby. In their conversations with Jim, he tells them that the sudden interest in the land may be due to “the rocks that talk.” What are these rocks? Will the boys be able to get away from their captor? And just why does “Uncle” Harold seem so willing to go to almost any length to obtain the land? What Danny finds out puts him in danger but also brings him and Larry opportunities to share Christ with Kit and Jim. Not every Bible believer will necessarily agree with the book’s presentation on how to be saved, but the story is generally wholesome.
One thing that I like about the Danny Orlis books is that when situations like being given faulty directions, detained by a cantankerous old prospector, and threatened by hired henchmen such as occur in this book, all work against them, Danny and his friends must learn to trust in the Lord to protect them, lead them out of danger, and guide them toward the truth. One may not always concur with everything in the book, depending on his theological background, but it is nice to read stories where Christianity is an important part of the characters’ lives, prayer is offered to God regularly, and people have the courage to stand up for what they believe.