** spoiler alert **
Boomtown tells the story of Reverend Arthur Button and his family as they settle into life in Boomtown, Washington. A life that Rev. Button was NOT prepared for! But one he's determined to keep after hearing that all 24 of his predecessors at Boomtown Church have died in bizarre mishaps.
I read this book aloud with my 5 year old son expecting lots or word play, puns, adventures and wacky characters. Our expectations were not disappointed. Only in Boomtown will you find a sheriff named Burton Ernie, fireworks at every holiday, and townspeople filled with grace and forgiveness.
My son has thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Rev. Button and his family. I think boys of all ages, especially tweens, will enjoy the fun spirit of Boomtown's residents.
[Spoiler Alert] Before handing this book to your tween son you should be aware that one chapter deals with a baby, born to young unmarried parents, who is left on the Buttons' doorstep. I was unprepared for this subplot in a book about exploding hen grenades and rocket Santas. The author handles the topic with grace but the resulting conversation I had with my son about adoption was not one I had expected when I started the book. Also, the baby's parents are of different races (in a book set in 1950 when such a thing was a big deal) which went unnoticed by my five year old but could raise questions with a tween.
Overall Boomtown is a fun and interesting story best read as a family with an awareness of potential for deeper parent-child discussions.