Monday, June 17, 2024

Death Valley Summer by Brandon Wallace

With summer comes tons of outdoor time, and today's read heads exactly in that direction. This is the third book in a series, which tackles the outdoors as two boys hit various adventures. This time, they're off to camp, and according to the blurb, they are in for quite a time.

I'm excited to see where this one heads, so let's grab our gear and explore these pages!

Wilder Boys
by Brandon Wallace
Middle Grade Adventure
205 pages
ages 8 to 12

Two brothers try to lead lost campers to safety in the fourth adventure of the Wilder Boys series.

The boys help out at a wilderness camp near Sequoia National Park, a day’s drive south of the Sierras. The camp’s main draw is a multi-day trek traversing woodlands, mountains, and desert during a team-based orientation competition that will take them to the edge of Death Valley. When Jake and Taylor’s team counselor is badly hurt in a flash flood, they must galvanize the lost campers to find shelter, aid the injured counselor, and supplement their low supplies with what can be found around them. At first, stumbling across a ghost town seems like a lucky break from the scorching heat of summer, but the town is already occupied by counterfeiters who are none too pleased about their operation being discovered. The boys must use all their resourcefulness and knowledge of the outdoors to protect their teammates from the criminals and the elements.

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The outdoors is an exciting place, but even seasoned adventurers can't be prepared enough for the possible dangers which might arise.

Jake and Taylor are glad to be back near the Sequoia National Park and their grandmother's cabin, but that stay is short as they head on to summer camp. With several outdoor adventures already overcome, they are more than prepared to take on whatever the camp might offer. It's the other campers, which throw the first issues thanks to their various personality quirks. But the group is going to have to find a way to work together, especially since they're headed into a five day competition to follow a hike through some of the roughest parts of the area. It should be fun, but as Jake and Taylor already know, nature tends to hold plenty of surprises.

This is the third book in the series, and I haven't read the first two. That didn't really pose any problems, since this adventure does hold its own. But there are repeated mentions of the past tales, so I would recommend starting this series from the beginning just to stay on top of things.

Outdoor adventure and survival fans are going to want to take a peek at this one. It takes two boys and places them in some of the most difficult situations nature has to offer. While it begins with smaller problems, such as fixing a roof and learning to work together with new people, the troubles after that increase in severity, one right after the other. The dangers they face are deadly, and the solutions take quick wit, ingenuity, and outdoor knowledge. While this did start out a little slower, it picks up pace quick and mounts in tension until the very end. And it is a tense ending.

While the two boys tackle some of the worst problems nature (and man) has to offer, the author also weaves in plenty of outdoor knowledge. This is woven right into the tale and melds well with the story. Outdoor fans might recognize some bits of information, but others will offer new insights. Either way, the mix creates a grabbing read to get lost in.

And here he is...

Trekking solo across the remotest corners of Wyoming and Montana as a young man, Brandon Wallace learned how to survive the hard way in the harshest conditions nature could throw at him. Having spent the subsequent two decades as a trail leader, passing on his knowledge to a generation of budding adventurers, he turned his hand to fictionalizing his experiences, and the Wilder Boys series was born.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's good to know that you can jump into the series with this book. This sounds like an awesome summer read. And it's great that it features two boys.