The Sugar Creek Gang Series, by Paul Hutchens. To be consistant with a standard of truth and righteousness, we both recommend and have some warnings for these books. The Sugar Creek Gang is a band of young adolescent boys, living in the rural Midwest fifty years ago, always involved in some adventure or mystery. The author portrays each story through the mind of Bill Collins, a boy with a soft heart as well as a quick temper. The first book begins:
It was the laziest day I ever saw, and so hot it would have made any boy want to go fishing or swimming, or maybe both. I don’t think I was ever so glad in my life that school was out, ’cause just as soon as I saw those big, fat fishing worms being turned up by Pop’s plow when he was breaking the garden, I knew what I wanted to do, what I had to do, in fact, or the whole day would be ruined.
Good family life, high values, and a basis of Christianity are set forth in each book, as well as all the twists of events that draw in both boys and girls. Nevertheless, the author doesn’t give a clear picture of salvation (though several people get saved by “asking Jesus into their hearts”) or holiness (fighting to right the problem is accepted), and the focus on adventure may be objectionable to some parents. We would recommend the series, particularly the first books, to those that want a wholesome mystery/adventure story with a realistic portrayal of boys that uphold good values.
Although we prefer the writing style of the originals, you can find the recent editions through Moody Publishers:
820 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60610