Badge of Honor by Susan K Marlow, fiction for middle grade boys

Badge of Honor by Susan K Marlow tells the tale of a twelve-year-old boy in Gold Rush California. Well, it’s past the first years of the gold rush. In fact, it’s fifteen years later, in 1864, and young Jem’s family has been in town, first prospecting and now ranching, for several years.

Jem’s Pa has just been named Goldtown’s first sheriff. Jem gets teased at school about it, and wishes it weren’t so. But it’s time for the rule of law in this part of the world. And, in fact, there are some outlaws causing trouble, not just for Pa but for Jem.

Can Jem and his sister and cousin figure out what’s happened to their old prospector friend? And where did the water go for the town’s little river? Jem sets out to find out, and finds more than he bargained for.

This is Christian fiction for middle grade at its finest. Believable characters, suspenseful plots, character-building tough situations, and evil bad guys all contribute to a well told tale.

It’s a series opener. Further tales of Jem promise to be good as well.

Five stars. *****