HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Danny Orlis and the Live-In Tragedy
Author: Bernard Palmer
Publisher: Moody Publishers, republished in 2000
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 16 and up
Rating: ****** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Palmer, Bernard. Danny Orlis and the Live-In Tragedy (published in 1972 by Moody Press, a division of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL). DeeDee Davis and her brothers Del and Doug are orphaned triplets. They live with Danny and Kay Orlis in Fairview, MN, where DeeDee is a sophomore at Fairview Senior High School. Her best friend is fellow sophomore Sandy Cole, whose parents are divorced, but lately Sandy has been pulling away from her and hanging out with Brenda Ekberg, who was into dressing “mod,” associating with questionable characters, and other objectionable activities. In fact, Sandy lies to both of her parents to get their permission to go with Brenda on a weekend trip to Minneapolis. Brenda herself becomes involved in a terrible sin. Can DeeDee and the Orlises help her friends? What is the answer to their problems? And will the two girls accept the solution?
“Danny Orlis” is a Christian fiction series for youth by American author Bernard Palmer (1914-1998) and published predominantly by Moody Press of Chicago. Created in 1954, for many years the series was a regular feature on the weekly Back to the Bible radio broadcasts for youth in the 1950s to 1980s. In the older books, the title character was a high school student living in the Northwest Angle of Minnesota, whose Christian faith was tested by peer pressure amidst his adventures living on the Lake of the Woods and in meeting various characters in northern Minnesota. In the newer ones, such as Danny Orlis and the Live-In Tragedy, Danny, as an adult together with his wife Kay, influences other young people in their life situations by offering wise counsel and a meaningful example to those who face choices of lasting consequence.
As a result, the earlier books are filled with excitement, mystery, and suspense, where Danny himself is central, growing up amid the complications arising out of school life, sporting events, outdoor dangers, and other equally interesting settings and happenings as he and his friends have all kinds of adventures on the lake, such as zooming along in their motorboat chasing or being chased by the bad guys, and losing them among the islands, thus appealing primarily to younger readers. In the later books, which are intended for an older set, Danny helps teenagers to apply Biblical solutions to every situation and provides realistic guidelines for Christian youth facing similar difficulties. There is some typical Evangelical denominational doctrine about how to be saved. The series consists of over fifty titles, beginning with Danny Orlis and the Charging Moose (1954) and ending with Danny Orlis and the Sacred Ruins (1989). Two other key publishing companies who published the books are Tyndale Publishers and Back to the Bible Publications. They are generally wholesome books.