My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp
This book is set in the year 1895 and is about a boy named Stanley Slater who is quite the teller of tall tales. Stan is 11 years old (almost 12) and lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with his mom. He’s always assumed that his “dearly departed” Dad was not among the living but the sudden arrival of a mystery letter (and his not-so-nice grandmother) tells a different tale. It turns out that Stan’s dad is just “departed” and very much alive – but where is he? Thus begins a journey to find his long lost father who is obviously out enjoying some near-death adventures of his own – what with being a hero/cowboy/explorer and all.
The search starts as the trio is forced to move to a remote logging camp owned by Stan’s uncle. His mom and grandmother find work as cooks for the loggers due to their precarious financial situation. With his contentious cousin Geri as his guide, Stan gets to know an oddball cast of characters he befriends along the way. There are loggers, possibly a murderer and plenty of men vying for his mother’s attention which doesn’t please him at all. To say that Stan has an overactive imagination would be an understatement as is evidenced by the scrapbook he keeps that’s filled with tons of vintage 19th century era magazine clippings – with some embellishment of course. A more poignant theme to the story is the series of imaginary letters that his dad “writes” to Stan while off traveling the world and chasing adventure.
All in all, this is a good read and the characters are enjoyable to get to know. The over 200 illustrations that fill the pages give the reader a nostalgic view of days gone by.
Order in Bibz.