NJ Youth Services
"Can be enjoyed by young readers as well as reluctant older readers. There are enough twists and explosions to keep the story interesting."
"The plot moves quickly from one humorous situation to another. Quirky but believable characters populate the small Canadian town, giving a yesteryear feel to a modern story. With its slim length, fast pace, and humor, this title will appeal to a wide range of readers."
"An entertaining book...The strong moral message in the book will delight the readers' parents, but Hyde manages to make her point without being preachy, and Wes is a fairly normal 11-year old boy to whom who children will relate. The plot moves along quickly, and the writing is appropriate to this age group, making it a great choice for children, especially boys, in this age group. Highly Recommended."
"A fun-filled 'house-that-jack-built' story of connections, both logistical and emotional...It is seldom that a text written simply, for younger readers, makes me both giggle and tear up. Natalie Hyde has created characters with humourous traits, realistic flaws, and yet a sense of integrity and community that restore one's faith in people. There is sufficient suspense and juvenile pranks to grip young readers' imaginations...A text that is as rewarding to give to a child as it will be for the child to read."
Tacoma School District #10
"Lessons about persistence, consequences, and following in your father's footsteps are intertwined throughout this story. A great addition for upper elementary."
Waterloo Region Record
"[Hyde's] storytelling abilities are evident in this easy-to-read tale."
Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Wesley James Morgan was once again doing something he had no business doing. He knew that the attempt to save his hat that had fallen into the swollen creek would be risky. The rains had turned the creek into a raging torrent. Wesley's feet jerked from under him and in he fell. But all was not lost: Mrs. Minton and her old wooden cane were there to save the day. His best friend Zach would never let him live this one down. And his mother wouldn't be too happy, especially since she had not let him forget the slime-mold experiment from last summer. She often gave him the look that implied his summer would be spent doing chores instead of having any fun. With the additional help of Mrs. Minton, Wes would not have to tell his mom about the creek. Mrs. Minton washed and dried his clothes and that was that, or so he thought. It was not long before Wes and Zach both sought out another clothes washing favor from good old Mrs. Minton. This time, it was mud. The one good thing coming out of the trouble they got themselves into was the subtle friendship they were building with Mrs. Minton. Zach reminds Wes that according to the National Geographic and the various cultures the organization has studied, Wes owes a life debt to Mrs. Minton for saving him from the creek. For a while, Wes struggled with the thought of paying a debt as big as this. Suddenly, it comes to him: he will give Mrs. Minton the best payback ever. You see, she will soon have a hip surgery and her selection of television channels is limited. The TV Tower has gone down in their town and Wes is determined to get it up and running so that Mrs. Minton can at least watch the few channels available. Wes has a huge task and the challenge is one he must accomplish alone and on time. Hyde has put together a fun and mischievous read for middle grade boys. Readers will be able to relate to the characters and laugh along with them as they get in and out of trouble. Young readers will find humor, suspense and rally around the characters. Hyde engages readers with vivid imagery and descriptive words that utilize all five senses. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
Read an Excerpt
My mom would kill me if she knew I was this close to the flooding creek, but I was desperate.
I heard footsteps crunching on the gravel path. My heart pounded. I was about to be caught doing the dumbest thing I had ever done. Well, maybe not the dumbest. There was that whole slime-mold experiment last summer. We couldn't use our bathtub for a month.
I made one last grab for my hat.