Daredevils by Anne Capeci, illus. by Paul Casale, is second in the Cascade Mountain Railroad Mysteries. Billy, Finn, Dannie and the others are thrilled to see an air show and meet Finn's pilot uncle. A spoiled new city boy from Chicago and a gang of bootleggers add drama to this Prohibition-era mystery; historical notes about the railroad projects of the Pacific Northwest, early aviation and the Prohibition years round it out. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This Prohibition-era story is similar in style to the "American Girls" books (Pleasant Company) and is based on the construction of the Great Northern Railway's Cascade Tunnel. Life in Scenic, WA, an isolated railroad construction camp, is dull for fourth-graders Billy, Finn, and Dannie. When Elliston's Flying Circus schedules an air show in town, the three are anxious to attend, especially since Finn's mysterious uncle is the star performer. Ross is the family black sheep, but the townspeople are fascinated by his thrilling accounts of the Great War. Then the friends overhear Uncle Ross talking with a pair of rough characters about "cargo" that "the boss" wants and begin to suspect that the flier may not be as heroic as he claims, especially when a federal agent arrives to investigate illegal liquor traffic. On top of everything, one of the railroad company executives is visiting Scenic and Billy is put in charge of entertaining the man's spoiled son. Characterization is standard series fare but there is plenty of action with bootleggers, barnstormers, and breakneck mountain chases. Historical endnotes with period photos add authenticity. The short text and exciting plot will attract young adventure fans, especially reluctant readers.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.