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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Mystery at Point Beach: Bushwacked by Kate Jungwirth and Deborah Erdmann is a fun children’s adventure that is clearly part of a series about these three young sleuths, written by this author team. When Dominic goes camping with his Grandfather Bob (GB), in his reliable, old nimrod camper, they invariably go to Point Beach where Dominic meets up with his two compatriots in adventure, Forest and Sailor, grandchildren of the old hippy woman and Native American, Windsong. On this adventure, Dominic has a dream about a large bear chasing him through the woods, which turns out to be very prophetic. Dom and his two sidekicks will find themselves caught up in a mystery that dates back eighty-odd years as they search for the hidden treasure of an old-timer lumberjack and forest worker from the 1930s depression. All the time the trio must be on the lookout for the interfering and annoying Ranger Rick who always seems determined to put a halt to their sleuthing before it even gets started.
I found it really great fun to read a children’s adventure story again. Mystery at Point Beach: Bushwacked is a pleasant romp through childhood fun and adventure whilst on holiday. I couldn’t help but hark back to the books of my own childhood, especially those of the Famous Five. Authors Kate Jungwirth and Deborah Erdmann have found the perfect balance between fear and the sense of childhood adventure inherent in all of us. Dom, Forest, and Sailor are the perfect combination for this type of activity; Dom is logical, mindful of clues, and of not losing sight of the objective, whereas Forest adds the sass, the sarcasm and the hi-jinks necessary to make this an engaging and exciting tale for youngsters. Sailor, though, is not just the token girl in the story; she may be frightened at times but she also has some things that are necessary to the team’s success and she is capable of meeting the challenges and overcoming them. The Ranger was drawn to an extreme as the bumbling professional, which gave the tale an added character, especially for younger readers who love the idea of adults making mistakes from time to time. Just the right length for the younger reader, this story will resonate with a wide age group and it is one I can highly recommend.