Trapped in the Tunnel

Children - Christian
222 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Trapped in the Tunnel is a work of fiction in the Christian storytelling, adventure, and family drama subgenres, and it forms the opening novel to The Brady Street Boys Adventure Series. It is intended for middle-grade readers upwards and was penned by author Katrina Hoover Lee. The storyline introduces readers to the Brady Street Boys, a trio of brothers growing up in Indiana in 1987. When the threat of moving looms over their close-knit community due to their mother's concerns about an abandoned house, the boys take matters into their own hands to prove that their neighborhood is safe. Gary, the determined protagonist, leads the charge as he uncovers a mystery involving an antique clock and a map that hints at hidden underground passages. The boys embark on an adventure filled with intrigue and danger, all while demonstrating their strong family bond and Christian values.

Author Katrina Hoover Lee has lovingly crafted an engaging experience that combines a sense of nostalgia with the excitement of childhood exploration and discovery. The work weaves together themes of family, faith, and resilience, capturing the essence of youthful curiosity and determination. One of the particular highlights of the work for me was the depth of its emotional theming. As the Brady Street Boys navigate through challenges and unexpected twists, the story highlights the importance of trust, unity, and facing adversity head-on. The novel's blend of mystery, adventure, and heartwarming moments makes it a compelling read that also teaches Christian morality and a message of love. Overall, I would certainly recommend Trapped in the Tunnel and am intrigued to see where the rest of the series will take these intrepid boys in the future.

Pikasho Deka

Trapped in the Tunnel is the first installment in The Brady Street Boys series by Katrina Hoover Lee. It's the year 1987 in the small town of Stratford, Indiana. Thirteen-year-old Gary Fitzpatrick loves rowing on the St. Joseph River with his brothers Terry and Larry. A cancer survivor with a wooden leg, Gary never lets his disability get in the way of having adventures with his brothers. When an old man named Benjamin gives the Fitzpatrick brothers a map to trace a rare Breguet clock, the brothers discover that the houses in their neighborhood are linked through tunnels meant for the Underground Railroad. As Gary, Terry, and Larry set off to investigate, they find themselves embroiled in a deeper conspiracy, with the neighbor's dog being poisoned and an unpredictable drifter in the mix. Additionally, they become trapped in a tunnel.

If you're a fan of books such as The Hardy Boys, you will absolutely love Trapped in the Tunnel. Katrina Hoover Lee spins an invigorating tale that takes you back to an era without the internet and social media when kids spent their time outdoors, creating memories to last a lifetime. Akin to The Hardy Boys, this adventure features a sleuth mystery element suited for children and young adults alike. The heart of the story lies in the dynamic between the three brothers. Gary, Terry, and Larry all have distinct personalities, and as a trio, the three complement each other perfectly. As someone who grew up reading children's adventure books, I loved Trapped in the Tunnel and am looking forward to reading the sequels.

Nino Lobiladze

Thirteen-year-old Gary Fitzpatrick lives in the small town of Stratford, Indiana. Gary has two brothers: Terry, who is one year older, and Larry, who is twelve. Gary is always ready for another adventure with his brothers despite losing his leg to cancer. The boys have loving, Christian parents. Their mom suggests her sons do a summer project. They must study the fruit of the Spirit, starting with love. She knows how mischievous her kids are. Something bothers Arabella, Gary's mom, on quiet Brady Street. An abandoned house in the neighborhood attracts strangers. Disturbed, Arabella and her husband, Ferguson, consider moving to a farm in Iowa. Their sons can't stand that horrendous idea. But how can they persuade their parents to stay in Stratford? The brothers decide to solve the mystery of Number Ten, the neighbor's house. Then, an antique dealer gives them a map that hints at the hidden tunnels under their street. Trapped in the Tunnel by Katrina Hoover Lee is the first book in a series and provides a thrilling read for young adult fans of mystery and adventure.

Katrina Hoover Lee's beautiful writing style and engaging narrative make Trapped in the Tunnel compelling. Katrina lovingly crafts wonderful characters, like Gary, with his unbeatable humor and zest for life; Larry, with his thirst for knowledge; and Terry, an epitome of courage and determination. Katrina shows us a Christian family. They are not perfect, as Ferguson sometimes has issues with anger management, but they try their best to love and care about each other. Illustrated by the gifted Josh Tufts, Trapped in the Tunnel describes a picturesque small town where the library plays a big part in the lives of curious boys; it is 1987, and the luxury of the internet is unavailable. But Stratford has its secrets, and some of them can be dark. Trapped in the Tunnel touches on the important topics of trust and the judgment of others. Gary, Terry, and Larry must learn their lesson well for it's a part of growing up and becoming better people. Katrina asks young readers whether every secret is worth keeping and encourages them to avoid judging a book by its cover. Trapped in the Tunnel is a captivating mystery with many twists and turns in the plot able to enthrall all fans of adventure fiction.

Tracy Traynor

Trapped in the Tunnel by Katrina Hoover Lee is an exciting children's mystery. Gary, Terry, and Larry are brothers. Gary guides us through what happened to them during one holiday. Strange, rough-looking people are going in and out of the empty house across the street. Mom wanted to move the family to a farm in Iowa for a while, which seemed like the last straw, but the boys don't want to move. They love it in Brady Street. Gary, who only has one leg, loves to row on the river, and Larry (who has a brain like an encyclopedia!) doesn't want to move somewhere where he won't have easy access to a library. One day, a stranger who says he is an antique dealer gives them a rough hand-drawn map of their street that sets them off on a dangerous adventure. Overcoming their difficulties, the three brothers work as a team to determine what's happening on their street.

Trapped in the Tunnel by Katrina Hoover Lee is book one of five in The Brady Street Boys 1980s Adventure Series. Although it has been written for middle-grade children, I think it greatly appeals to a broader age range. I was reminded of Enid Blyton's The Secret Seven and The Famous Five mystery books when reading. It is a great, wholesome adventure with plenty of mystery that kept me turning pages. It has been written with clear Christian principles intermingled throughout the story. I loved the holiday project to record The Fruits of the Spirit at work in their lives. Josh Tufts' illustrations are great and helped to bring the story to life. The dialogue is natural, and the boys are thoroughly likable. Trapped in the Tunnel combines the joys of being a teenager with adventure, mystery, and friendship. It is a riveting page-turner that I am sure will keep young readers enthralled.

Alma Boucher

Trapped in the Tunnel is a Christian children's book by Katrina Hoover Lee. Three brothers named Terry, Gary, and Larry live on Brady Street in a fun-filled small town. They love action and adventure, and when strange events occur in their neighborhood, the brothers want to discover what is going on. Gary vows to prove that their neighborhood is safe, but their mother’s fear of the strangers in the abandoned house next door threatens to uproot their world. Gary is shocked when an eccentric antique dealer asks for his help in locating the owner of a clock. The strange man gives Gary a map with lines that connect the houses in the neighborhood. Gary is certain that the map shows old underground tunnels between the houses and is desperate to solve this puzzle.

Trapped in the Tunnel by Katrina Hoover Lee is fascinating. It was fun joining the brothers in their quest to prove that their neighborhood is safe. The story is fast-paced and full of action. With all the twists and turns, there was never a dull moment and I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were authentic and relatable. My favorite was Gary. He was a cancer survivor, and not even his wooden leg prevented him from having fun. The story was well-written and captivating. The theme of love was woven into the spiritual lessons and message of family values. Children of all ages will enjoy reading this story.