CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 21 . . . . June 21, 2002
The past comes to life in this modern-day mystery set against the historical backdrop of a tiny mining village in British Columbia.
Rick and Willow Forster are spending the summer in Kaslo with their parents who are teaching a summer class in film-making. This is not the first time that the brother and sister sleuths are left to their own resourcefulness. Similar circumstances led them to track down a missing masterpiece in The Lost Sketch(1999); readers who enjoy their adventures can also observe them digging up fossils at Dinosaur Provincial Park in The Disappearing Dinosaur (2002).
This time, the siblings hook up with rock collector Dusty Malone who lives in the nearby ghost town of Sandon. Dusty delivers ore to the S.S. Moyie, a steamship permanently docked in Kootenay Lake that has been converted into Kaslo's leading tourist attraction. But Willow and Rick soon grow suspicious of Dusty who seems obsessed with finding a silver boulder the size of a mini-van that disappeared years ago. Dusty believes he inherited the boulder from Meddlesome Malone, but most people believe the boulder is part of a legend, that is, until Melissa Tomi comes to Kaslo in search of the same boulder that her own granddad claims he owned. The problem: both grandfathers are deceased; all the mining records have been lost; and the only possible evidence is half of an old map tucked inside a journal written in Japanese by Melissa's grandfather. The journal only sheds more mystery on the Silver Boulder legend. Who was Boulder Bob? Did Meddlesome Malone really kill him to protect his claim? Who owns the other half of the map? And how can a boulder the size of a mini-van just disappear?
"Adventure.Net" is a well-crafted mystery series with a twist. The stories are complemented by numerous sidebars imbedded with interesting history lessons that give the reader additional insight into the plot without intruding into the momentum of the storyline. The Silver Boulder is set in a real village rich in mining history and lore. Through these sidebars, the reader learns about Kaslo's mining tradition, the Kootenay Lake flood, the sternwheeler Moyie's sixty years of service, the Japanese internment, Haiku poetry, rock collecting, the Silver Boulder legend and much more. Each historical tidbit ends with a website or two where additional information is available. Teachers will welcome this added feature and the variety of topics ready-made for discussion. Readers may even get an appreciation for the research potential that the Internet can offer and the accurate historical background around which the fictitious storyline is built.
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