Susan Marlow’s Goldtown Adventures: Tunnel of Gold {TOS review}

If you want good, wholesome reading for your children, then Susan Marlow books, which are published by Kregel Publications, are ones to add to your child’s collection. Our family was introduced to Marlow a couple of years ago during a review of one of her books in her Circle C Beginnings series, which Lily and I both enjoyed. This time around, we had the opportunity to review Tunnel of Gold, which is one of two books in Marlow’s new Goldtown Adventures series and I am not surprised at how much we also enjoyed this book.

Just as Circle C Beginnings was geared towards female readers, Goldtown Adventures is geared towards male readers, but don’t let that fool you. Marlow writes her stories, so that they are appealing to both boys and girls.

Goldtown Adventures is written for children ages nine through 13. Readers are placed in 1864 Goldtown, California (Woot-woot for California) during the tail-end of the gold rush period. We meet the main character, Jem, who lives in Goldtown with his sister Ellie and his father, who works as the sheriff. Continuing the story from Badge of Honor (book one), Jem’s Aunt Rose (Pa’s sister) and her son, Nathan, move in with their family of three. This creates interesting experiences and challenges for Jem in Goldtown as well as ones at home.

Susan Marlow is a Christian and her faith is shared through the characters in her book series. There is nothing overwhelming about the presentation of her faith in her stories. Instead, she creatively weaves her values into the stories she tells and readers get to see how the characters learn to trust God in the decisions they make.

A special feature of the book series is the addition unit studies that Marlow has created for both books. The activities include vocabulary, review questions, hands-on exercises, writing and more. You may see the enrichment guide for Badge of Honor (see guide) and Tunnel of Gold (see guide). Lapbooks are also available for the series.

I shared the book as a read-a-loud with the children. That way Canyon was able to participate. Also, I may have messed up a little bit, by starting them in book two instead from the beginning of the series. Who knew that anyone would pick up on that? I was only onto the second page of the book, when Lily asked me if there was a book one, because of a sentence that I read. I confessed and immediately had to promise to buy book one so that we may also read it. Don’t worry, you do not have to read book one (Badge of Honor) before reading book two to enjoy the series, but it is worth it story-wise (they will love it) and mama comfort-wise (I didn’t have to pre-read the book for appropriateness).

The combination of Marlow’s books and study guides makes reading her books more than just a read, but a true educational experience. If you like a living book learning experiences, then Marlow’s series are ones you should try. You may read samples of many of the books in her series.

You may read samples of both books: Badge of Honor and Tunnel of Gold.

We will be purchasing book one, so that we may find out what happened in the beginning. We will need to hurry and read Badge of Honor, because Canyon of Danger, the third book in the series is due in November of this year.

Tunnel of Gold is available for $7.99 or you may purchase books one and two for $13.95.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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One Response to “Susan Marlow’s Goldtown Adventures: Tunnel of Gold {TOS review}”

  • Comment from Susan Marlow

    Thanks so much for your lovely review. I would address you by name, but *sigh* I couldn’t find it. :-) Anyway, I’m tickled that you all liked the story. There is even a book 4 next spring, and they’ll end up on the Sacramento River on a side-wheel steamboat. That book was really FUN to write!

    Thanks again,
    Susan Marlow

    If you like ranching stories for girls, check out my Circle C Adventures series, written for the same age level.

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