Amazon Adventure Book 1 of Barclay Family Adventure Series by Ed Hanson 2003 PDF {SPirate}
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  • Book: Amazon Adventure
  • Author: Ed Hanson
  • ISBN10: 1562545507
  • ISBN13: 9781562545505
  • ASIN: N/A

The ten novels in this new series introduce readers to the adventurous and spirited Barclay family. Follow the family on easy-to-read journeys that feature interesting facts about history, geography, and science. In addition to character development throughout the series each novel contains an element of mystery and suspense. Plus, the stories can be read sequentially or independently. Each novel is 64-pages and includes comprehension questions at the end of each book.

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Amazon Adventure Book 1 of Barclay Family Adventure Series by Ed Hanson 2003 PDF {SPirate}

Ed Hanson and Saddleback Educational Publishing have come up with a brilliant concept for solving a very serious problem: the great decline in reading among today's students. Their solution? Put out readers that are essentially suspense-filled or mystery-filled juvenile series books like the famous Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys series of old.

This confronts both of the major problems with more traditional readers: if they are not mind-numbingly dull, they are excruciatingly didactic, cramming some important "teachings" whether moral, religious, or (these days) politically correct down the throats of children so hard as to turn them off of reading for good. In this first book for example a single PC lesson about "saving the rain forest" is mentioned in passing but then mercifully dropped. The remaining "lessons" are mostly about confronting adversity with good sense and good cheer.

Defects? One is simply length. 64 pages just doesn't allow for much if any character development or anything much beyond cardboard cutouts: brave father, devoted mother, the athlete, the science wizard, and the baby of the family. In addition there were an uncomfortable number of obvious mistakes: successfully steering a powerless boat (water moving past the rudder from some sort of propulsion, even paddling or poling, is required for steering) and having the Amazon "fork" and sending our heroes into "uncharted jungle" down the wrong fork. (An UPSTREAM trip UP the wrong fork could plausibly lead into uncharted jungle, but not a downstream trip.) I'm also a little dubious about some parts of the method described for surviving a fall into quicksand or a bog. (The trick is to stop struggling and lie still until your natural buoyancy floats your body to the surface; movement anywhere except on the surface produces suction that will pull you down.)

Still, for what they are intended to be, reading textbooks, they are wonderful. The fact that children who learn to read better and to love reading from these books will quickly find them skimpy fare for pleasure reading is not entirely bad, assuming their teachers quickly move them on to bigger and better things in the school library or the bookstore if necessary.

Bibliographic information

Title Amazon Adventure
Book 1 of Barclay Family Adventure Series, Ed Hanson
Author Ed Hanson
Publisher Saddleback Pub, 2003
ISBN 1562545507, 9781562545505
Length 64 pages