Stephanie's Reviews > Boomtown

Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular
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's review
Dec 07, 2008

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bookshelves: children, 2008, fiction, chapter-book, thomas-nelson
Read in December, 2008

** 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.

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Stephanie Boomtown is not your average town. For one thing, it's the home of Chang's Fireworks Factory, only the greatest fireworks factory ever! And the people of Boomtown love to blow things up. This unusual town is where Arthur Button moves his family and tries not to get himself killed in the process. He's the newest pastor at Boomtown Church. Actually, he's the 25th pastor of Boomtown Church - and the 24 preceeding pastors have all perished in highly unusual ways.

On top of just trying to stay alive (!), there is also an unusual mystery that needs to be solved. Things are disappearing ... unusual things. A lawnmower, old pieces of wood, an old coat. Where are these things going? You find the answer to this mystery and a even more about what makes the folks of Boomtown so special in this book!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I think the readership is geared to a 10+ year old boy. It has adventure, loveable characters and things! blow! up! a lot! in this book. :) One note, there is a side story (very brief) about a baby left on a doorstep and the young parents didn't feel they could raise the child. I thought it was well handled in the story, but as a parent, I would want a head's up that was in the book in case my child came to me with any questions! Even with that disclosure, I think this would be an entertaining book for a tween (especially boys) if you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift.

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