Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Past Can Be Refreshing

Story of this next one: We walked to Goldie and Aharon's baby's bris and Esther Twersky offered to let me nurse in her house since she lives right near the shul.  I took her up on it, and she very nicely offered me a choice of reading materials.  She had lots of exciting used book, childhood favorites type.  Plenty of Gordon Korman, and she also had this author Keith Robertson.  He's the author of the Henry Reed books, which I used to read back in the day (and more or less enjoyed), but apparently he's the author of several other books as well.  I selected one of them, The Money Machine, started it while I was nursing, and took it home with me to finish.

The book is a children's mystery, with that old-timey feel of Henry Reed, Beverly Cleary etc - when children got around on bicycles, did their chores and lived wholesome and energetic lives.  The protagonists of The Money Machine (it's actually the last in a series with these boys) run a detective agency.  The mystery involves a counterfeit ring.  Not *too* high stakes, but of course, seriously dramatic for high school.  I'm not a huge fan of mysteries for their own sake, though I read many of them for various reasons of course.  So the actual clue-tracking and culprit-exposing wasn't overly important to me.  What impressed me more (I mean that in the sense of made an impression on me) was the old-timey feel of it all.  The mild manners, the slow pace, the secure atmosphere - all make for a relaxing read, despite any tension that arose from all the tight spots that happened along the way.  Not that I'm particularly nostalgic, and definitely not nostalgic for a time and place I never knew, but the wholesomeness of all did get to me.

At least I think that's what it was.  The bottom line is I found it to be an easy read.  As a children's book, I wouldn't have expected much else.  Even so, I think the old-fashioned neat-and-cleanness contributed plenty.

Verdict: 3.5/5

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