Boomtown: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this little tidbit before, but just in case, I’ll say it again: Thomas Nelson, Inc. has this neat program where you get one of their latest releases in exchange for a blog review of one of their books. This time around, I chose from their juvenile fiction: Boomtown, written and illustrated by Nowen  N. Particular. And now, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Boomtown.


The Good:


1. C’mon, it’s got to be that title, and, come to think of it, the cover of the book. I saw Boomtown and thought brilliant! What middle school kid doesn’t like the idea of blowing up stuff? So, right off, I’m ready to dig into this story.


2. And the story starts out promising enough. A preacher and his family move into town and before you can say, “Howdy!” the kids have blown up a fair portion of said town. Plus, there’s a little humor thrown in along the way.


3. I LOVE that the Sheriff is named Burton Ernie.


4. I was absolutely fascinated by the chapter wherein the family visited the Boomtown Museum. The list of inventions, the design of the building, the history of Chang…I can see where a geeky fifth grader would eat that up.


The Bad:


1. The narrator is the preacher dad. And he’s not a fun kind of preacher dad. He’s more like a dull preacher dad. If I didn’t relate to this guy (and I’m ever so much older than a fifth grader) than I don’t think it’s going to fare well for the youngsters trying to slog through this book.


2. The kid characters are never really defined. I couldn’t remember who was who, except the son. But that’s probably because he actually got to do something. Oh, and he was the only boy in the family. I think.


3. There’s a reason why writers are told, “Show me, don’t tell me!” I wish someone had explained this concept to Mr. Particular. He may have been able to save this so-so story.


The Ugly:


Nothing can save that cutesy author name, Nowen N. Particular. Except possibly his cousin, Nowen Cares.



So, if you’ve been thinking of stretching your writing muscles with reviewing, and you have a blog, you can check out Thomas Nelson and see if they’re still accepting blog reviewers. Hey, you can even read Boomtown. After all, one blogger’s bust could be another blogger’s blast.


(Uh-oh. I’m blaming that line on Mr. Particular’s influence.)



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