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C.M. Huddleston, a retired Registered Professional Archaeologist, treats middle grade readers to another adventure in her Literary Classics award-winning, Greg’s Second Adventure in Time. A time traveler by virtue of his DNA, Greg travels back to 1778. There, he learns about the hardships of the early settlers who traveled beyond the Alleghenies, as well as about Native Americans, including raw information about where they lived and what they ate. But this is not a “history” book. It is not a story centered around dates and places of past events. Rather, it is one that engages the minds and hearts of young readers as they can imagine hardship, loss, accomplishment, danger, and ultimately, the exhilaration of a victory that will allow them to live to see another day. With the story centered in large part around Daniel Boone and the Siege of Boonesborough, Greg’s adventures introduce readers to a variety of interesting characters while also, along the way, offering interesting facts about the science of archaeology.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: it is difficult to find engaging reads for middle-graders that meet all the requisites of the readers themselves, and of their parents. C.M. Huddleston’s stories offer up a witty and sometimes “mouthy” main protagonist, in the form of Greg. At times he talks too much, he’s startled by the changes he is beginning to experience (at age 13) in terms of the girls he finds interesting—and he still finds “potty humor” to be engaging. (Case in point: Greg’s definition for “guano,” the excrement of bats—from which saltpeter, used for making gunpowder, may be leached, is “bat poop.”) I find Greg to be a genuine representation of a 13 year old, with the added benefit of having an intact family (notwithstanding that “Dad” is almost never home!). Young ones who love adventure will find just that, in Greg’s Adventures. Along the way, they’ll learn take in a healthy dose of some good history!