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A Stairway To Danger: (Mystery, Action, Suspense) (A Shakertown Adventure) [Kindle Edition]

Ben Woodard
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

An eyeless body. A menacing stranger. And a tangled mystery.
It’s the summer of 1923 and two cousins hunting for hidden gold stumble on an decayed body. Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is convinced the death was murder and drags his older cousin into a harrowing struggle against a shadowy group. Not even attempts on their lives can stop the boys from relentlessly pursuing the mystery. But when their curiosity leads them to investigate a derelict barge, what they find is bigger and more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.
A STAIRWAY TO DANGER is a fun-filled thriller with humor and adventure in a Twain-like setting.

Winner! Orangeberry Hall of Fame Best Young Adult novel for 2013

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii. Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children's writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children's stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain. Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.

Product Details

  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0988627418
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Miller-Martin Press; 1 edition (December 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll need to catch your breath after this one! May 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This review can also be seen at topoftheheapreviews(dot)com

Young Adult novels need to ride a fine line between being accessible to a younger audience while at the same time not insulting their intelligence. It's even harder to do so while writing in a time period that may not captivate the younger audiences of today. So how did this YA adventure do?

When I first started this book about 14 year old Tom and his cousin Will it had a certain air about it that wanted me to compare it to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, or even later, The Hardy Boys, with a little bit of Goonies thrown in.

The first thing I should point out, is that even though the book takes place in 1923, it really doesn't matter with the exception of a couple characters and the way everyone speaks. So that shouldn't be a deterrent, which is great because this book is a very good book, and a great way to introduce young adults into adventure. As an added bonus, if they read the other sections, they will find that these locals really do or did exist! However, if some strong language is not your thing you may want to steer clear.

The language in the book isn't over the top, it isn't thrown in just be thrown in, it's there because that's how they talk. Ben Woodard does a great job of making sense of this. He didn't change the book to suit his needs, the characters spoke as they should have. Yes, they are teenage boys, but really, we all know teenage boys when away from parents talk like that.

The book is a short book clocking in at around 130 pages, so there isn't a whole lot of individual character development, but the dynamic between the two boys is well written and the interactions between them and the other characters ring true and are very natural.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unstoppable Junior Detectives December 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This wonderfully told story presents two heroic teenagers who take on the mob back in the 1920s. Will and Tom are first cousins and, in the beginning, they seem to be as different as different can be. Will reluctantly goes along with Tom when his curiosity can't be satisfied concerning a mysterious, haunted barge moored along Dix River near their Shakertown farm. The boys' search for the truth gets them in a heap of hot water and in way over their heads when confronted by notorious gangsters. Their curiosity nearly kills them. Their quick wit and cleverness keep them alive. Their courage outshines men twice their age and the local law enforcement. Together, they are an unstoppable pair of junior detectives.

These two boys are as much fun as Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and as smart as Joe and Frank Hardy. Tom is the reader with a mysterious past. Will is the levelheaded, natural born hero. Their sidekicks, Helen and James, are full of spunk and good humor. A teen adventure sprinkled with Southern charm and historical facts, I was hooked on this Shakertown adventure from the first page!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I was asked by the author to read and review this book.

A Stairway to Danger by Ben Woodard is an adventure about two boys, Tom and Will, who find a dead body at the beginning of the book. Along with their friend, Helen, they try to figure out who the dead person is and what is on the mysterious Barge that is being zealously guarded. Set in the 1920's, we follow these boys through danger and intrigue.

This book feels reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn's adventures. The book even refers to these books for comparison. However, unfortunately, for this book, there is no comparison-- Tom Sawyer is a more superior book by far. I found my interest lagging after the first chapter. The boys seem to head towards danger with no thought for their families or consequences. Even when they escape by slim odds, they continue to pursue danger, again without many consequences. There are some interesting twists once we reach the 50% mark.

The problem also with this novel is that I would normally suggest this as a book for middle schoolers to read. But with the defiance to rules and authority without consequences and pretty frequent foul language, I wouldn't think that this should be read by that age group. As for older kids, I fear that they wouldn't find this book very interesting when there are other books that are more enticing.

Overall, decently written, but does not fall into an easy category for readers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and suspenseful teen mystery December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This story grabs the reader with the first line and doesn't let go. Woodard has created believable teen characters and plunked them down in a fascinating historical setting. Full of mystery and intrigue, this is the kind of story that even reluctant readers will stick with in order to find out what--and who--is behind the shady happenings of Shakertown as well as what secrets the main character is holding!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Modern classic.... March 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"A Stairway to Danger" is an adventure story in the spirit of classic adventure stories. Within the story-line, Tom is a reader of such classics as Tom Sawyer and his reading material inspires certain elements within the story-line. It's clear that the author was greatly inspired by these past masters but brings his own uniquely updated spin to play.

Woodard chose to set his story in a real Kentucky town that is now a historic village. He also coaches elements of his story in actual history that can't help but to educate the young reader. Woodward handles the sense of setting beautifully. I have not been to Shakertown but have been to Harrodsburg and Danville and can picture perfectly the acres of farm operated by Will's father and the leafy riverbanks where the adventure plays out.

Tom and Will are independent in a way that modern children can only dream of being. They see a task and know what must be done and risk all to do it. They don't necessarily give regard to how the people around them feel but 14-year-olds on the cusp of the greatest adventure they've ever had wouldn't naturally consider consequences or how their actions would impact those around them. Add to the mix a brave young girl who helps the boys in their quest and there's something for everyone.

The overall story-line flowed beautifully. There was no excess within the plot. I really enjoyed this story and the characters. "A Stairway to Danger" is a great modern classic. I would recommend it for the 12+ young adult.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Young persons book
As a big reader i personally found the book a bit soulless. When i find a good book i more than likely read it numerous times to get the deep meaning out of it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for All.
This book is a quick read. Well done to Ben Woodard, I enjoyed the overall composition and the fast style.
Published 7 months ago by GaryB
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the right readers
Ever wonder what makes a pre-teen/young teen boys read with relish? It's good if a story has some ghoulishness and plenty of "Yikes-factor." This one does. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mirka M. Breen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good writing. Well structured.
After reading Author, Ben Woodard's middle grade book, The Boy Who Flew With Eagles, I wanted to read more of his work. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Margaret C. Arvanitis
3.0 out of 5 stars Age Appropriate?
This story would be great for boys aged 7-11 if not for the swearing (think Hardy Boys). It's not right for the YA crowd because, though the protagonists are very adept at getting... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kim Votry
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
It was a young adult novel and I am a teacher interested in recommending books to students. I couldn't get through it so can't tell if students would like it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cynthia Selbe
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardy Boys With A Fresh Twist
I grew up on Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I've easily read all their mysteries and even the newer ones where the sleuths teamed up. This book carries a lot of this teen spirit. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andrea Kurian
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure Novel
A Stairway to Danger is an intriguing novel filled with action and adventure from beginning to end. Tom and Will, two cousins living in a small town in the 1920s, become involved... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Deanna S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stairway to Danger-Suspenseful teen mystery
Attention all mystery lovers! Stairway to Danger is a real treat. In Shakertown the cousins Will and Tom are at it again. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Linda Whipple
4.0 out of 5 stars Young adult fiction
The book was good and held my attention; but the story is really more or less for young adult readers. I probably will try other books by this author to see if they are the same.
Published 14 months ago by Napkitty
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