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The Swamp Robber (Sugar Creek Gang, Book 1) Paperback – June 5, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 1 of 36 in the Sugar Creek Gang Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; Revised ed. edition (June 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080247005X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802470058
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a mom to 5 boys and our family has been hooked on the adventures of the Sugar Creek Gang for a few years now! We originally discovered the stories through an awesome set of cassette tapes. The books were dramatized for an radio series by Paul Ramseyer of Northwestern College Radio in Minnesota and our family is now a part of the ministry, helping to produce the audio series for families to enjoy at home! Do you want your children to learn gentle lessons of courage, faith & friendship on THEIR level? Do you want to see real growth in their character? The stories are fun adventures with the truth of God's plans woven skillfully throughout. See the world through the eyes of Bill Collins, a freckle-faced, firey-tempered red head. You'll enjoy Bill's antics and the barefoot fun of all the boys in the "gang"! (As a side note, I do recommend the books be read in order. They tell an ongoing story from beginning to end.) From the back of the tapes: "Step back in time... to one-room schoolhouses, hot summer days of fishing, fun and barefoot boys. Sugar Creek Gang stories engage the imagination and draw a child's heart into a living relationship with God! Hymns, scripture verses, nature lore, poetry; sensitivity toward the disabled, the oppressed... and the courage and confidence to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ." --- Just the right recipe for training up a child!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great one to start off bed time reading with your kids. I have never seen a 7 year old sit still that long. It is the first time he was ever excited about going to bed. We just finished it and I am ordering the next in the series. It is a must read for anyone who wants to find a way to spend more time with their kids or wants to incourage them to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the series that introduced me to the infectious hold of books. I simply couldn't wait for the next "Sugar Creek Gang" book to come out, and my parents and grandparents knew as much, using my consuming desire as a device for motivating other "good" behaviors, like practicing the piano, taking care of Trixie (my dog), saying my prayers each night (my father was a preacher). I soon became conscious of an underlying Christian theme (primarily in the subplot involving Little Jim and his wayward alcoholic father. At times the religious message struck me as a bit thick (today I would say "didactic"), even as an 8-year-old, but for the most part it's sufficiently subtle, or interwoven into the narrative, not to interfere with the rapid pace of the story and the well-rounded portraits of each of the characters.

I started the series when I was 6 and, failing to get my son's interest with my old and musty books, I'm hoping that my grandson, who is now that age, will take to it as readily and completely as I did. There's one huge difference between the 2 of us that goes far beyond the religious affiliations of my own and my daughter's family. When I started reading this book in Loves Park, Illinois in the 1940s, there was no TV! In fact, there were no prolific, omnipresent screens of every size and shape. As a teacher I unavoidably noticed the difference, and the ever-widening gap, between my experience and my students'. For some time I tried to meet students half way with screenings of the classics, computer programs, and even e-mail literary contests in "real time." I'm afraid the education received was mostly my own--about texting, chat-room prose, and social "connectivity" through Facebook and its many wannabes.
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Format: Paperback
This is a Christian fiction adventure series aimed at boys, which has never been out of print since its first publication in the 1940s. The edition I read is the 1997 "revised edition", the one still in print today, which has made the text more relatable to contemporary readers. I don't have both editions side by side to compare but this 90's edition has no references to outdated technology or speech. It still evokes an aura of taking place in the past, during a time when boys were given knives and guns and when they spent their time doing chores and playing outdoors at such things as the swimming hole and fishing. The book does not feel outdated at all but reads as a story of a boyhood from the "olden days". The writing is first-rate quality and I knew I was in for a treat of a read by the end of the first chapter. If I had to compare it with anything it would be the "Great Brain" series. Full of excitement and adventure, a well-written, page-turning story. The book is unabashedly written both as evangelical Christian fiction and for boys. Non-Christians and those looking for girl-inclusive books will not enjoy the emphasis. The main character, Bill Collins, is the narrator and is seven years old at the time of the events, however we know it is his older self who is telling us this story. Bill talks openly as a Christian, not preaching at all, but as if this is a natural part of his daily speech, simply who he is. He also talks to boys about what it is like to be a boy, relating to them and imparting good values in the way friends would try to help each other do the right thing. However, the boys do get up to all kinds of mischief and have a rollicking adventure in this book which involves a mysterious disguise, a bank robber and a man who has been dead for ten years. I thoroughly enjoyed all five members of the Gang, found the plot to be realistic, and will be adding this series to my reading rotation as I can find the books.
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