Survival on Mystery Mesa

Eagle Mountain Adventures: Book One

Children - Grade 4th-6th
232 Pages
Reviewed on 03/25/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

George Goldthwaite grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. After completing flight school, he flew the A-6 Intruder off the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. When not performing official duties, he spent his free time backpacking, canoeing, and skiing throughout the northwestern United States. George later served as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida before leaving the service. He then flew for twenty-five years as a pilot for a major airline. George is the proud father of three sons, all pilots.

After retirement, he joined the DFW Writers’ Workshop to pursue another passion: writing. He is the author of three historical westerns available in audio format from Books in Motion. His current work includes the Eagle Mountain Adventure Series, a collection of middle grade adventure novels available from Fawkes Press. He now resides with his wife and Golden Retriever in a tiny town in north Texas.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

When thirteen-year-old friends Alex and Josh are stranded on a desolate mountain mesa, following a plane crash, with Josh’s eight-year-old brother, Mickey, and Alex’s seriously injured pilot father, the young people’s survival skills and maturity are severely put to the test. Where they have crashed in the middle of winter, just one day prior to Christmas, is a lonely, desolate, freezing cold and dangerous place. Not only do the young people have to figure out how to find food and water, they also have to build a fire to keep warm and to care for Alex’s veterinarian father, who is slipping in and out of consciousness. To add to their travails, throw in a hungry puma and a mysterious, ghost-like remnant of the past inhabitants of this corner of New Mexico - the long disappeared, indigenous Anasazi tribe - and you have the makings of an excellent adventure, full of danger and excitement. This is what author George Goldthwaite has presented his readers with in Survival on Mystery Mesa: Eagle Mountain Adventures (Book 1).

The number one thing I loved about this story was that although it was written with the target audience of middle-school children, the writing and the story are just as enjoyable for a reader, like me, who is about as far away from middle-school age as one can get. The three youngsters who are the heroes of this story are compelling, believable and totally normal kids that one would meet every day. They possess nothing particularly special, but George Goldthwaite shows through them that, when placed under extreme pressure, even the most average of us is able to rise to the occasion and perform above and beyond what we may have expected of ourselves. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and the perils the young people faced and attempted to overcome. Especially poignant for me was the way they handled the aftermath of their adventure when faced with scepticism and condescension. Survival on Mystery Mesa: Eagle Mountain Adventures (Book 1) is a wonderful story for middle-school children, but applicable to all ages of readers who enjoy a good, clean adventure. As the first book in a series, I say bring on the next one.

Jack Magnus

Survival on Mystery Mesa: Eagle Mountain Adventures, Book One is an action and adventure mystery novel for children, grades 4-6, and preteens, written by George Goldthwaite. Josh and his little brother, Mickey, had been looking forward to the upcoming winter recess, but Josh was worried he might end up being grounded for most of it. The fire in his mom’s science lab had been an accident, but it had been a big deal for the school and its students. Josh really wasn’t looking forward to discussing his science experiment mishap with his parents. They were actually pretty cool about it, however, after hearing about how the magnifying glass had caused the fire. Josh’s best friend, Alex, would be starting her winter recess in a particularly exciting way. She would be going along with her veterinarian dad to the Retriever Trials in Cortez that Sunday. Doc would be flying them in his four-seater airplane. The brothers were thrilled when their parents agreed to let them go along and help Doc and his daughter out with any dog emergencies. The Trials were everything the kids had thought they would be, but the plane trip back to Durango was anything but. Josh, Alex and Mickey would be forced to rely on their knowledge, ingenuity and bravery as they struggled to survive under decidedly deadly conditions.

George Goldthwaite’s action and adventure mystery novel for children, grades 4-6, and preteens, Survival on Mystery Mesa: Eagle Mountain Adventures, Book One, will thrill anyone who loves the outdoors and adventure -- even if it’s been some years since they were middle school students. I loved watching as Josh uses his scout training, first aid skills and survival knowledge in practical ways that help the stranded quartet survive a plane crash in extremely harsh winter conditions. Josh truly comes of age in this book as he finds himself in a situation where his survival and everyone else’s depend on his decisions, actions and strategies. It’s grand fun to see how he does just that. I was also fascinated by his sightings of a ghostly Anasazi warrior during their ordeal. Goldthwaite’s plot is exciting and well-paced; his characters are fresh and believable; and the action continues non-stop. I’m pleased that this is just the first of his Eagle Mountain Adventures and will be looking for the next one in the series. Survival on Mystery Mesa: Eagle Mountain Adventures, Book One is most highly recommended.

Lesley Jones

Follow this exciting tale, Survival on Mystery Mesa by George Goldthwaite, as brothers, Mickey and Josh, decide to travel with their friend, Alex, and her father, Dr Alvarez, on his airplane for the weekend. As the plane flies over the wilderness of New Mexico, something goes wrong with the engine, and they crash into the wilds, leaving the doctor injured. The trio has to think fast if they are going to survive. Together they work as a team to help the doctor recover, to find a good place to shelter, and keep warm until they can work out how to call for help. As the night draws in, they are joined by a creature that watches them from a distance, waiting to pounce. The youngsters will never forget this weekend for a long time.

Survival on Mystery Mesa by George Goldthwaite took me back to the good old days of the adventure stories I read as a child. The tension was excellently developed, and always left a question at the end of each chapter. I loved the dialogue between the kids; it was very realistic and the characters themselves were superbly created. The author is an expert at scene building and getting the reader gripped and hooked into the story. When the predator arrived, I was literally shouting at Mickey to move. I can’t recommend this highly enough. I also thought the experiment to try at the end of the book was a fabulous idea. I definitely want to read more from this author.