HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Phantom Ship in the Desert: MotoMysteries Book 3
Author: Sherri Kukla
Publisher: S&S Publishing Inc., 2020
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 9 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kukla, Sherri. Phantom Ship in the Desert: MotoMysteries Book 3 (Published in 2020 by S&S Publishing Inc.). Jeremiah and Millie’s parents have brought several foster children to live at their ranch in the California desert. They are Samuel, Jenny, Caleb, and Mia, and Jeremiah and especially Millie are feeling a little sibling rivalry. The kids hear rumors about an old ship that was somehow lost in the desert, and Millie is determined to look for and find it. A cryptic message from a missing man named Emmett and maps to the phantom ship lead Jeremiah and Millie on their curious search. When the pair become separated on their dirt bikes, they discover they aren’t the only ones looking for the ship. Someone else wants the map they have.
Who is chasing them? How do a soldier’s old knapsack and a mysterious cardboard box in an overturned trailer relate to the desert ship? And what happens when Millie, alone, hurt, and out of gas, hears a noise like the rattling of a sidewinder? Phantom Ship in the Desert is a faith-based mystery with cliffhangers at the end of every chapter. Plenty of suspense and off road adventure make it a good read for reluctant readers. It focuses on multiple things in the story, but the various plot lines are woven together skillfully. Other benefits of the book include showing the importance of family, sharing a gentle message about suicide, and having no objectionable material.