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•audiobook• 4.5 - book 1
Where was this book when my sons were the same ages as these characters?!
I enjoyed the throwback story and style from when I was growing up with Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and authors like Ruth Chew - where children found treasure, maps, clues, and explored their world.
This was a very fun book and one most elementary youngsters could enjoy.
Note: No new age technology and simple family dynamics.
Tidbits of history - some real, some not - are scattered throughout. Very subtle but it also adds depth.
4.5 stars because there were small inconsistencies
It seems to be a solid stand alone.
Narration complemented the audience and story telling.
•audiobook• almost 4 stars - book 2
Not as enjoyable as the first. Caitlin, a classmate, was a new addition to the young brothers and quite likable.
Patrick Henry still has a cameo thread to the mystery with relation to the George Wythe, a lesser known signer of the Declaration of Independence.
There were instances I had to replay scenes because it seemed like the Derrick was acting like Sam or vice versa.
The book blurb of comparing this series to The Magic Tree house is misleading.
•audiobook• 3 stars - book 3
The third book in the series seems to lose its luster.
This story takes place the summer following the previous book. Although the boys have aged, they still act as young as they had in the first book.
After a morning ride to Belle Isle, Sam is thrown from his bike when older boys ride past him and cut him off. Dropped off at his friend’s bookstore, the reader is led to believe he has spent several summer days there. However, Caitlin gave him directions to the bathroom. Made it feel inconsistent.
I liked how we met different people and the youngsters were still innocent. This delved into the Civil War history, differing from the first two books’ focus on persons from the American Revolution. It was interesting. As a native Virginian, I knew a lot about Belle Isle’s industrial contributions to Richmond’s heritage, but learned about its darker history.
I had bought the first three books in a bookset on Audible. It started off strong and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the time was not wasted, I have no intention of following Sam, Derrick, and Caitlin as they continue to explore the rich historical myths, legends, and stories of Virginia.