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Rock Harbor Search and Rescue [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery. 

Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen ...

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Rock Harbor Search and Rescue

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Overview

In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery. 

Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team. 

Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!

"Colleen is a master storyteller."—Karen Kingsbury

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Eighth-grader Emily O’Reilly had “means, motive, and opportunity” to steal Mrs. Dancer’s sapphire necklace, says Sheriff Kaleva; maybe, but Emily didn’t take it. All she wants is to become a search-and-rescue operator like her stepmother, Naomi, and her idol, Bree. Since everyone except her best friend Olivia thinks Emily stole the necklace, she has to clear her name, and to do that, she must find the real culprit. So begins the first book in a series for middle-grade readers based on bestseller Coble’s Rock Harbor series for adults. Told in third person from Emily’s point of view with a great deal of realistic, though sometimes dull, dialogue, the story is a briskly paced whodunit steeped in middle-school girl drama. The setting is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the authors do a fine job of juggling a large cast. Some readers might wish for more polished prose or a dose of levity, but most will relate to the seriousness with which Emily takes herself, her faith, and her empathy. Ages 9–12. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400321629
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 56,022
  • Age range: 8 years
  • File size: 937 KB

Meet the Author

RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.

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Read an Excerpt

ROCK HARBOR SEARCH & RESCUE


By Colleen Coble Robin Caroll

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Colleen Coble
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4003-2162-9


Chapter One

"I don't think he's got a scent." Emily O'Reilly waved away the black flies that swarmed around her face. Their search dog, Charley, had paused and was nosing a patch of leaves. The trees blocked out the sun here and made her shiver.

Her stepmother, Naomi, paused to catch her breath. "It's going to be dark soon. Mrs. McKinley will be frantic if we don't find her dog."

Emily glanced around at the dark shadows. "I hate to think of little Chloe out here." She loved her neighbor's little poodle. She cupped her hands around her mouth. "Chloe!" Only the wind answered her. Tears pricked her eyes. They'd been searching for over two hours. What if an owl had carried off the puppy? Or, even worse, an eagle?

Naomi put her hand on Emily's shoulder. "Don't look like that, Emily. We'll find her."

If she were only five instead of nearly fourteen, Emily would have buried her face against Naomi and cried. "What about predators out here?" she whispered. She could hear rustling in the woods around her. She knew it was probably squirrels or birds getting out of the way of the search-and-rescue team, but it was easy to imagine a fox or a wolf instead that may want to have a poodle-sized snack. Or could it be the Windigo? The thought of the old Ojibwa legend made her throat tighten. She'd been lost out here once when she was a kid, and the noises she'd heard in the night still came back to haunt her.

Or maybe it was her imagination. She knew the Windigo was only a legend—the Ojibwa Native American tribe's version of a bogeyman—but it was still enough to give her goose bumps. Her babysitter had told her the old story enough times that Emily could never forget it. And even though she knew better ... out here, in the dark, with the wind moving through the trees ...

"She's probably just wandered off," Naomi assured. She called Charley to her and had him sniff the bag that held one of Chloe's stuffed animals. "Search, Charley!"

The dog whined, then put his nose in the air and leaped over a fallen log. He began to bark. His tail went up, and he disappeared into the shadows. "He's got a scent!" Naomi shouted. She took off after the dog.

Emily ran hard to keep up. Please, God, let Chloe be okay. Her heart raced, and she strained to catch a glimpse of the dog. There was a yip, then she heard two dogs barking. One was clearly a small dog from the frantic yapping. "Chloe!"

The leaves rustled, and Chloe burst into view. Emily fell to her knees, and the sweet little poodle ran straight to her arms. Her little pink tongue lapped at Emily's face. "You're all right!" She didn't care if she was crying. She hugged the dog and turned her wet face up to Naomi. "I thought an owl had gotten her." She swiped at her eyes with the back of her hand and then stood up with the dog in her arms.

Suddenly, Naomi's cell phone softly began playing the theme song from The Princess Bride inside her jacket, and she answered it. From this side of the conversation, Emily realized there was another problem. Her gut tightened when Naomi hung up and called Charley to her.

"A couple at a nearby camper reported their ten-year-old son hasn't come back from a short hike along a well-marked trail," Naomi said. "I'd rather not pull you into this, but we're closer than anyone else."

"I want to help!" The dog wiggled in Emily's arms. "What about Chloe?"

"The sheriff is heading this way with a scent article. We'll give Chloe to him."

"We just wait here?"

Naomi nodded. "Sheriff Kaleva is on a four-wheeler. He'll be here any minute."

Emily tipped her head at a distant noise. "I think I hear him now."

Darkness was falling quickly, and moments later headlamps pierced the dimness of the forest. A burly form dismounted from the machine and came their way with a paper bag in his hand.

The sheriff held out the bag. "The little boy's sweater is in here. His name is Xander."

"How long has he been gone?" Emily asked.

"A couple of hours. The parents looked for him first before they called me."

Naomi took the bag. "We'll start right away."

Emily handed Chloe over to the sheriff. "She's tired and hungry, I think."

The sheriff tucked the small dog under one arm and turned back toward the four-wheeler. "I'll have Mrs. McKinley meet me at the campground."

When the roar of the engine faded, Naomi knelt beside Charley and opened the paper bag so her dog could sniff it. Charley thrust his nose into the bag, then ran around the clearing with his nose in the air. The search dogs were all air scenters. They followed as he ran off into the woods.

Darkness had completely enveloped the deep woods. Emily got a flashlight out of her ready-pack. While she had paused to grab it, the beam from Naomi's light had vanished. "Naomi, where are you?"

When silence answered her, Emily's gut tightened. She hadn't counted on being alone in the dark. Not after remembering the Windigo legends. When something rustled off to her left, she broke into a panicked run. Her breath tore in and out of her throat, and her lungs burned. She had to get out of here!

She stumbled over something and sprawled into a mat of leaves and spruce needles. The sharp scent of pine cleared her head. She sat up and felt around for her flashlight. Her hand touched on the metal, and she flicked it on. No reassuring light beamed out. She shook the casing and tried again. Nothing. She was out here in the dark by herself. With the Windigo.

Something howled in the distance. She hoped it was Charley, but what if it wasn't? What if the Windigo was coming for her? She scrambled to her feet and shrieked Naomi's name. The fear in her voice ratcheted up the panic in her chest.

"God's here with me," she whispered. "Nothing can hurt me." She'd always been told not to move around if she got lost, but everything in her wanted to rush away from the night sounds echoing around her. She backed up until her rump was against a tree. A little boy was lost out there. She needed to be strong and let Naomi find the kid. Then Charley would come for her.

It seemed forever that Emily stood there trying to identify every sound in the dark. The strength in her knees gave out, and she sank to the ground. She'd never been so terrified. How long had it been? Half an hour? Two hours? She had no way of knowing.

Something rustled in the bushes again, and she lifted her head. A cold nose touched her hand.

Charley!

She threw her arms around his neck as Naomi stepped into view.

"Emily, why didn't you follow me?" Naomi asked.

"I stopped to get my flashlight, then couldn't find you."

Sheesh, Emily thought. I sound like a baby instead of thirteen.

"I mean, I knew you'd come back for me. Did you find Xander?" Emily struggled to her feet.

"I did," said Naomi. "I texted the coordinates to the sheriff, and he picked him up. He's probably back with his parents by now. I told Charley to find you, and he led me straight back here."

Emily didn't want to admit she'd been terrified, so she brushed the leaves from her jeans. "I was pretty lame, wasn't I?"

Naomi smiled. "You did exactly what I've always told you to do—stay put. You've got a knack for search and rescue, Emily. I think it's about time we thought about getting you your own search dog."

"Really? My birthday is in a few weeks," Emily said hopefully.

Naomi's blue eyes were warm. "Your dad and I think you should earn half the money to buy it. Bree has some puppies she'll be selling soon."

Emily gasped. "One of Samson's puppies?" Samson was one of the best search dogs in the country. She hadn't dreamed she could own one of his pups. "It would take me years to earn enough."

"I've already talked to her, and she's saving one for you at a very discounted price."

Bree and Samson were one of the most famous canine search-and-rescue teams in the world. Search and rescue was just about the coolest job Emily could think of.

Emily flung her arms around Naomi. "Thank you, thank you! You're the best! How much will the dog cost?"

"Three hundred."

Emily's elation faded. How could she earn a hundred and fifty dollars? Babysitting didn't pay that well.

My necklaces. Good thing the Rock Harbor Annual Fall Festival was coming up. Emily had a booth reserved to sell some of the jewelry she'd made. If she sold enough pieces, she could totally earn that hundred and fifty dollars. She vowed right then to make as many pieces as possible before the festival.

* * *

People from the surrounding counties and states crowded the downtown streets for the annual Fall Festival in Rock Harbor. The town had been settled by Finns back in the copper mining days, and it still held the flavor of its residents. This September morning, the booths and tables lining the sidewalks and streets held many Finnish wares. Rugs, pottery, furniture, thimbleberry jam, and copper items decorated both sides of Houghton Street. The aroma of beef pasties and Finnish rye bread filled the air, making Emily's stomach growl.

Bree Matthews walked toward her, and Emily's gaze immediately went to the puppy in her arms. She could hardly breathe when Bree stopped and smiled. "Like him?"

"He's sooo cute! Is this one going to be mine?" Emily held the puppy up to her face, and the tan fur ball nipped at her chin. "You won't sell him to anyone else, right?" She put every bit of appeal she could muster into her expression as she looked at Bree.

Bree nodded her head. "I'm holding him for you. I brought him to the festival so he wouldn't be lonely. His siblings are for sale at my booth. All but one has already sold."

"I love you, Bree," Emily said fervently.

Bree's green eyes twinkled. "I hope you loved me before I saved you a puppy."

"Always!"

"I need to get back to my booth," Bree said. "Kade will be wondering what's keeping me."

Emily sighed, pressed a kiss on the top of the puppy's head, and then handed him back to her. Bree walked away with the dog peeking over her shoulder. It was all Emily could do not to chase after her. She turned away and glanced around the downtown area.

People dressed in Finnish clothing milled around as they prepared for the parade. Emily was really impressed with the outfit Olivia Webster, her best friend, wore. An orange wool vest covered Olivia's blouse with its full sleeves. The orange-and-black skirt had a herringbone pattern, and her headband matched the skirt. The color looked good against Olivia's pale skin and brown hair. Olivia had made it herself, spending as much time on it as Emily did on her jewelry making. She admired Olivia's talent. When Emily tried to sew, the results were a mess.

"I bet your parents are sorry they didn't get to see you wear your costume," Emily said.

"Mom was really disappointed. But they made the plans for the cruise before the town changed the date of the festival. And besides, I get to stay with you." Olivia slumped beside Emily as they sat behind the jewelry booth. "What are you going to name your puppy?"

"I haven't decided yet. I'll need to find the perfect name for him." She nudged her friend. "Did you see Mary Dancer's jewelry? I think I did pretty well copying her Sapphire Beauty necklace, the one to ward off the Windigo." Saying the word made Emily shiver and glance around.

Olivia picked up the fused glass necklace from the table next to Emily's booth and examined it. "I think you did too. It's a little smaller than hers, but the color is similar." She set it back on the velvet display. "I don't know why you like her stuff so much. It's a little plain. I like more sparkle." She batted her eyes at Emily, and the two girls burst into giggles.

Mary Dancer approached Emily from the other end of her booth. She was way old, at least fifty. She wore a long red skirt, a leather vest, and several of her own necklaces.

"Hi, Mrs. Dancer," Emily said. "You've had a lot of customers."

"It's been a good morning." She pressed her hand to her stomach. "I-I'm not feeling very well. Would you girls look after my booth until I get back?"

The woman did look a little green. "We'd be glad to." Emily crossed the grass between the two displays. "We'll try to snag you some more customers too!"

Mrs. Dancer's smile was more of a grimace. "I'll be right back." She darted across the street toward the bathrooms.

Emily wandered along the display. "I love her stuff." If only she could make jewelry as good as Mrs. Dancer's. She'd have the money to buy her puppy sooner rather than later.

"We know how you love it. Trust me, we all know," Olivia said.

A few customers stopped by both booths, and Emily sold a red hawk necklace and a pair of earrings from Mrs. Dancer's stock. She carefully tucked the money into the metal box, then moved to her table to sell a black onyx necklace.

A tall young woman approached, several people following her. Emily gasped as she recognized her. "That's Malia Spencer," she whispered to Olivia.

"Wow, I heard she was coming for the big surfing championship in a few weekends." Olivia squinted toward the group of people passing. "I thought all surfers were younger."

"Well, she won the women's world championship this year. It probably takes time to get that good."

The famous surfer stopped to talk to three boys who were in the surfing club. Emily was so busy watching them that she didn't notice two customers at Mrs. Dancer's table until the man cleared his throat. She hurried to assist them and sold them a necklace. By the time she had completed the sale and stored the money, Malia had moved on.

She stared after the surfer. "I wonder if Josh knows she's here." Though she'd watched for him, she hadn't seen Josh yet. Surely he would be here if the women's world champion was making an appearance.

"Emily has a cruuu-ush," Olivia said in a singsong voice. "You might at least talk to him sometime."

Emily flopped onto a folding chair, her cheeks burning, and sighed. "What's the use? Dad won't let me even look at a boy until I'm sixteen. That's two years away. He'd lock me in my room if he thought I liked a boy." But Josh Thorensen was way cute.

"Two years and a month," Olivia corrected.

"But my puppy will be mine in a month." Emily sat up and grabbed her bag. She checked her money. "I've made almost one hundred and twenty-five dollars so far."

"How much do you have to make?"

"Dad and Naomi are paying half of the cost for my birthday. So I need to earn a hundred and fifty." She was a little annoyed that her dad thought she needed to prove she was responsible enough to own a pet. As if she hadn't proven it over and over already. Her little brother, Timmy, had diabetes, and when their mother left them when Emily was only eight, she had managed to take care of him and the house, hadn't she?

That was before Dad married Naomi. Three years ago they'd had Emily's second little brother, Matthew. Didn't she help with babysitting him? How much more responsible did she need to be?

"The festival is going on all weekend. I bet you'll make all the money you need." Olivia smiled and nodded to her left. "Look who's here."

Emily's chest tightened at the sight of a familiar shock of blond hair. Josh even looked like a surfer with his thick hair, blue eyes, and lean build. But her stomach plunged when she saw who stood beside him.

Rachel Zinn.

Though she and Rachel were both in the eighth grade, Rachel was the kind of girl who was born knowing how to talk to boys. She had the classic look: straight and silky blond hair, big blue eyes, and a short and petite build. School had just started, and already she was the head cheerleader of the junior varsity team and the president of the eighth-grade class. Not to mention her incredibly wealthy father sat on the city council and owned the fishing resort. Emily always felt invisible when Rachel was around.

They used to be friends, and Emily still wasn't sure what had happened.

For the millionth time, Emily wished her hair wasn't so curly and that she didn't stand so tall. She seemed to tower over all the other girls in her grade. But even more, she especially wished the curves she'd already gotten weren't so obvious. It was embarrassing.

She shrank behind her table and let Olivia talk to them as they looked at the pieces of Mrs. Dancer's jewelry. But Rachel didn't miss Emily. She smiled, put her arm through Josh's, and hollered out, "Oh, hi, Emily." Her smile did nothing to hide her smugness.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from ROCK HARBOR SEARCH & RESCUE by Colleen Coble Robin Caroll Copyright © 2013 by Colleen Coble. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    Funny...

    I live up to the point where it would take a one or two hour drive from my home to get to the Great Lakes. I have seen them plenty of times, considering my dad is really into this hobby (go letterboxing, yeahhh!) We have a yearly meeting that I am missing this year due to Great Lakes Bible Camp, and we always go to a new location along one of the Great Lakes. I have never seen anyone surfing, but I have seen pontoons, sail boats, and wind surfers, plus more, including swimmers. If you agree, please reply to GreatLakesGal. Also reply for questions or comments.

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  • Posted October 13, 2013

    The summary of "Rock Harbor Search and Rescue" is admi

    The summary of "Rock Harbor Search and Rescue" is admittedly intriguing, for a middle-grade fiction novel, although the book did not become a favorite for me.

    Emily O'Reilly is an almost-fourteen-year-old girl living in Michigan, with a passion for dogs in search and rescue work. She volunteers on rescue missions with her stepmom. She even wants to buy her own puppy and start training it for SAR work. Unfortunately, a crime is committed in Rock Harbor, and because Emily was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the suspicion points straight towards her.

    The Cons:
    Many times in the book, the parents hinder their daughter's curiosity, as she attempts to clear her good name. So, Emily is forced to go behind their backs to get her questions answered. She even "sneaks" online to do research, making sure her parents don't find out. These actions struck me as odd, not being good honorable morals for kids.

    The other thing that I didn't find appealing is the girly discussions which pass between Emily and her best friend, Olivia, about certain private topics. If there had just been less of it, I could have enjoyed the story better.

    The Pros:
    It's a story with a lot of fun elements, especially the dogs, and being able to learn about K-9 search and rescue. I'm glad that it does have a Christian theme running throughout, and that Emily takes time to say prayers to God. Her faith is an important part of the story, because she is surrounded by the superstitions of the Native American Ojibwa tribe, and their grisly Windigo creature which is said to live in the nearby woods. Since the crime she is suspected of is interwoven into the Ojibwa beliefs, she is stepping into unknown territory with only God by her side.

    The Author:
    Colleen Coble has previously written a Rock Harbor series for adults. She is now introducing this new series for tweens, which ties in with the same characters from her original series. Book #2 of the tween Rock Harbor series will be published in October.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the free book.

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  • Posted August 11, 2013

    This is the first book in a new middle grade series by Colleen C

    This is the first book in a new middle grade series by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll.  The series is based on Coble's Rock Harbor series for adults.   Interestingly, Rock Harbor is a fictional town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that sits on Lake Superior.




    Why kids will love it - For those that love mysteries, especially girls, this is a great story. The twists and turns make it hard to figure out who the thief is until the very end.  It is also very "real" and I'm sure many girls can relate to Emily and her best friend, Olivia. 




    What I learned as a writer - The more twists and turns, the more readers will keep turning the pages to find the answer to the mystery. It was also interesting to read how the blended families were handled in a middle grade.  It was nice to see a loving step-mom who was also loved by her step-kids. That can sometimes be hard to find in kids lit.




    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    Rock Harbor Search and Rescue (S&R) tells the story of Emily

    Rock Harbor Search and Rescue (S&R) tells the story of Emily O’Reilly, a typical middle grade school girl with a hard-core passion for S&R. She enjoys volunteering on the team with her stepmom, and very often, the pair join forces on rescue missions. She is selling homemade jewellery to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. Good things doesn’t always last long. Soon, an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewellery artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime. To make matters worse, even her dad doesn’t believe her. Determined, Emily decides to take matters into her own hands. Together with her best friend and younger brother, they set out to find the real culprit.

    When I first read Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, I did not particularly liked the lead character. I felt that Emily was too dull, too commonplace. Then again, she’s just a kid. She’s dealing stuffs way beyond her maturity level.

    Thankfully, as I read the story, I began to admire her determination and effort. Sometimes being a brother is better than being a superhero. Right as a sunbeam, soft as a cloud, and cute as a bug, Emily’s brother is a fun-loving character.

    The camaraderie between Emily and Olivia particularly shines. The sisterly pair shows a true meaning of friendship.

    The book has great pace. The author has an ear for dialogue, for she has the ability to catch your attention.

    Recommended for 8-12 year olds.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Rock Harbor fans, you will want to read this

    While the target age for this book is 8-12, all who have enjoyed Colleen's books, especially the Rock Harbor series should read it. It is so well written that I almost forgot what the target age was and it was a wonderful way to catch up with many of those we have to come in Rock Harbor.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ROCK HARBOR SEARCH & RESCUE by Colleen Coble and Robin Carol

    ROCK HARBOR SEARCH & RESCUE by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll is an wonderful inspirational Juvenile Fiction/Mysteries & Detective Stories. I must say WOW,this author has done it again. I read all her Adult Rock Harbor series, and loved them, this one is for ages 8-11 years and is just as amazing. With its pets,mystery,thief, suspense,and adventure children as well as their parents are sure to enjoy "Rock Harbor Search & Rescue". It was fun to see young Emily prove herself,the SAR dogs,and of the characters of Rock Harbor, again. This is an engaging read for middle grade readers who enjoy mystery,suspense, and adventure. A great read! I would recommend "Rock Harbor Search & Rescue" they will not be disappointed,the characters are engaging and the plot interesting. Received for an honest review from the publishers.

    RATING: 4

    HEAT RATING: NONE( JUVENILE FICTION)

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Reviewed courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    Rock Harbor Search and Rescue Dogs provide the setting for this

    Rock Harbor Search and Rescue Dogs provide the setting for this fun, exciting story. When the main character, Emily is accused of theft, she turns into Nancy Drew. The target 8-11 year old crowd will enjoy Emily’s believable investigation. Unlike Nancy Drew, Emily’s efforts are not always successful. Readers will empathize with Emily’s feelings when her family does not jump to her defense. There are multiple story lines in the book making it guaranteed to keep the story moving, and hold the interest of young readers. While the book definitely has a Christian theme, it does not portray Christians as perfect people with perfect lives. This is an excellent choice for readers who are looking for a clean mystery with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

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  • Posted May 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love big furry creatures, and dogs rank high up on the list of

    I love big furry creatures, and dogs rank high up on the list of my favorite animals. It was an absolute joy to read about Search & Rescue and to see Emily's passion for the job. The story opens in the midst of a search, allowing us to get to know key people in Emily's life and how much she values the job. I love how Emily is a strong character in that she stands up for herself without going so far as to get into trouble that she can't handle despite her insistence on clearing her own name. At the same time, her youth and vulnerabilities also come out in moments of weakness, such as when the topic of her mother comes up and with her fear of the Windigo.
    Add to that the strong support from those around her. Emily's younger brother Timmy and best friend Olivia are always there to cheer her up and help her out. I also love Bree and Emily's step-mother Naomi. In time, I grew to like her father as well, though I can't forgive him for being so quick to suspect Emily of stealing Mary Dancer's necklace initially. I don't want to believe that a parent can put down his or her own child like that, but he does. And she still loves him.
    I do feel as though the relationships in the novel could be straightened out more, especially early on in the novel. We never do find out why Emily's father is so suspicious of her initially when she is accused of stealing the necklace, and Josh is never more than that boy Emily is interested in. I also never really felt a sense of urgency about Emily's biological mother. Though Emily fears her mother, we don't find out until late in the book why she is. I also wonder what role Greg plays in the novel and why he bothers to make an appearance in the novel when he was never brought up before and he doesn't play much of a role in the story.
    The emotions could come off a bit clearer as well. It falls flat at times, which is especially noticeable because there are times when Emily's emotions really come off the page, like when she feels betrayed by her father and when she remembers the time she went to the beach with her mother.
    On the whole, this was a solid read with strong dialogue and an amazing cast of characters. The novel does get a little too much on the religious side for me in the second half with the subject of God coming up more frequently; it isn't over the top, but there were too many similar references, especially in such a short novel. The ending is a bit anticlimactic. After all the searching for the true thief, Emily stumbles upon the truth by chance, and everything wraps up pretty nicely afterwards. I would have liked to see more suspense and action surrounding the mystery. At the same time, the ending is believable. Not every mystery has a big bad guy waiting at the end.

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  • Posted May 14, 2013

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    Finally a series of great novels for middle school age teens! Co

    Finally a series of great novels for middle school age teens! Colleen Coble has been a favorite author of mine since reading the first of many books that followed and now, just in time she and author Robin Caroll have teamed together to bring you the first in a series of novels designed for young adults. Rock Harbor Search and Rescue begins the new series and is a great mystery for those of you that love untangling the clues to solve the crime.

    In this case, eighth-grader Emily O'Reilly is saving up for a Search-and-Rescue puppy of her very own after being involved with working with Charley, her stepmom Naomi's canine. Her parents have asked her to pay for half of the expenses as a way to show teach Emily the responsibility that comes with being partnered with her own Search and Rescue dog. She has it all figured out too. She loves making her own jewelry and hopes during the weekend of the town's fall festival that she be able to make the money no problem.

    When a fellow jewelry artist asks Emily to watch her booth while she takes a short break, Emily is more than happy to help. After all she has been creating her own jewelry after Mrs. Dancer's more expensive jewelry creations only hers aren't half as fancy or nice. She ends up selling a few of her pieces before she returns only to discover that her most valued piece of jewelry the Sapphire Beauty necklace is now missing and Emily's cheap imitation is in it's place instead. No matter how much Emily assures Mrs. Dancer that she didn't take it, all the signs seem to point to Emily. Even those closest to her including her Dad begin to wonder if perhaps her real mother's criminal past hasn't come full circle with Emily. Is it possible that she is like her mother after all? She needed the money to pay for the dog she's always wanted, would she be willing to steal for it?

    To find out the answers to these questions and more, you'll have to pick up a copy of Rock Harbor Search and Rescue by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll at your favorite book retailer. I received this novel compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is just the beginning of an exciting new series of novels geared perfectly for those middle schoolers that are looking for a bit of fun, adventure and mystery to go along with their novels. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next novel due out in the fall of this year.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

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    Colleen Coble and Robin Carroll in their new book "Rock Har

    Colleen Coble and Robin Carroll in their new book "Rock Harbor Search and Rescue" Book One in the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Emily O'Reilly.

    From the back cover: In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble's bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery.

    Emily O'Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor's fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she'll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team.

    Emily isn't willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn't prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!

    Having made a hit with adults in her Rock Harbor series Colleen Coble teams with Robin Carroll to give us a new heroine in Emily as part of the Rock Harbor characters. The minute I hear search-and-rescue I immediately feel the immediacy of the moment. Someone is missing, there is trouble involved and there is no time to waste. Ms. Coble and Ms. Carroll know exactly how to bring all of that to the story and more. All Emily wants is to save up enough money to purchase her own puppy to train as a search-and-rescue dog while she trains under Bree Matthews. However while selling jewelry at the fair somehow the real piece of jewelry was stolen and people think Emily did it. Now she has a very short window of time to find the thief and clear her name before the puppy that she wants is sold. Danger, suspense, mystery and family troubles "Rock Harbor Search and Rescue" has it all. This is a fast-paced read that will keep you flipping pages to keep up with the story. Ms. Coble and Ms. Carroll have done an outstanding job. I want to have more stories about Emily O'Reilly at Rock Harbor.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program.. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

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    What a great teen read. Emily O'Reilly is a sweet, God loving, h

    What a great teen read. Emily O'Reilly is a sweet, God loving, honor student. She loves her family, which consists of her Dad, her Step-Mom, Olivia, and her brothers Timmy and Matthew.
    What a young girl doesn't need is to be accused of a crime she didn't commit. She feels like even her Dad has let her down. She was saving to buy her own search and rescue pup to train. Now, she has been accused to stealing a necklace, her Dad made her give the money she made selling her own jewelery to Mrs Dancer.
    This book will make you feel like there is no one who believes in you. Yet there is much support from her Step-Mom, and other friends, including her best friend Olivia. Travel with this young teens on this adventure that will keep you turning the page.
    There is a sense of unease when Em's and Timmy's real mother is about to be released from Prison. Also you question some of the people who might or might not be friends. We do go on a few rescues with the dogs, to find those who have lost their way in the woods. We are also up against evil spirits and people who do no know God.
    I have read many books by both Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll, and this one is very good!

    I received this book through the Publisher Thomas Nelson on Net Galley, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted April 21, 2013

    Cara here: Two of my writing friends have come together for a se

    Cara here: Two of my writing friends have come together for a series for middle-grade readers. Set in Rock Harbor, Michigan, the setting for one of Colleen's series, this books brings back characters moms have grown to love in a book that is perfect for 10-14 year olds.  Here's my daughter's take:

    In Search & Rescue, 8th grader Emily O'Reilly is accused of stealing a necklace. Even her dad believes she did it. Determined to clear her name, Emily begins a search for the truth.

    I loved this book (4 out of 5 stars). It's one I'll re-read, especially when the next one releases. I'd read the adult Rock Harbor books and enjoyed seeing all the charcters from those books again. 

    Emily's deepest desire is for a puppy of her own that she can train to be a search and rescue dog. Her stepmom works with Bree training search and rescue dogs, and Emily can't wait to join their team. But her dad won't let her get a puppy because he thinks she stole the necklace. He forces her to give that money to the woman who lost the necklace. The only way to reserrect her dream is to prove she didn't steal the necklace. 

    Even though I figured out the mystery, I kept reading because I needed to know that I was right. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.  

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Award-winning author Colleen Coble collaborates with Robin Carol

    Award-winning author Colleen Coble collaborates with Robin Caroll to present Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a children’s mystery series set in the familiar Rock Harbor, Michigan, featuring some characters from Coble’s Rock Harbor adult series.

    In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, thirteen year old Emily’s stepmom, Naomi and her dog Charley are part of the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team. Emily wants to be a part of the team and is saving the money to buy a puppy of her own to train.

    But when an expensive necklace disappears while in her care, she must prove her innocence to everyone who considers her guilty, including her dad. Only her friend Olivia believes she is innocent. Her dad wants to believe her but the evidence (she has motive and means) makes it difficult, so she turns over her savings to the owner of the necklace.

    While she works to clear her name and find the real culprit, she must deal with middle school girl-drama. She grapples with her faith (“Why God would allow her to be accused of wrongdoing?”), as well as the Native American beliefs about evil spirits (“Is the Windingo real?”).

    Coble and Carrol do an excellent job of taking that familiar series and creating a good clean mystery/suspense appropriate for upper elementary readers. Coble fans will appreciate the plot twists and a visit with the familiar Rock Harbor characters. This new series will earn new and younger fans.

    Rock Harbor Search and Rescue is told from Emily’s point of view and readers will appreciate the realistic narrative. The series includes mystery, action, suspense, and loose ends, leaving room for story development in the next book.
    Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    4 STARS Well one of the first things I learned their is surfing

    4 STARS

    Well one of the first things I learned their is surfing on the great lakes. The story drew me into caring for Emily right away. I was getting angry with her father not believing in her.

    Good Plot, likeable characters, drama, action, suspense and good information about search and rescue. Makes me want to go and read more of Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll's work. This is aimed for middle school readers, but others would like it too. It is a clean read.

    Emily is in middle school. She makes jewelry and wants to do search and rescue with her own dog when she gets older. Her father said if she earned 150$ he will get the rest of the money for her birthday. She has to prove she is responsible first.
    Emily has made a lot of jewelry that she hopes will sell at Fall festival.

    Emily has helped out during the summer with training search and rescue dogs center. Her stepmother is a member of search and rescue with her dog Charlie. Sometimes Emily gets to go with her and help search.

    A necklace at the booth next door to Emily's was stolen and a copy of it that Emily had made was switched in its place. Her father made Emily give her hard money to her because she was watching the book for her when it might have been taken.

    Witness show up who heard that Emily was making the copy so she could steal it. Even her family does not believe in her. Students in school are mean to her. Emily feels she needs to solve the case if she is to have any chance to get her own search and rescue puppy.
    I was given this ebook to read and in exchange asked to give honest review of it by Netgalley.

    publication: April 9th 2013 by Thomas Nelson Publishers 256 pages ISBN: 1400321069

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

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    Emily O'Reilly has a chance to get her own puppy and train it to

    Emily O'Reilly has a chance to get her own puppy and train it to be a Search & Rescue dog. It's going to cost her, though. She's confident she can make the money quickly by selling the jewelry she makes at craft bazaars. But when another vendor accuses Emily of stealing an expensive necklace, Emily sets out to prove her innocence, which is hard when her own father doesn't even believe her. Will Emily be able to catch the real thief in time to get her puppy and have a chance at her dream of joining the Rock Harbor Search & Rescue team?




    I'm so excited about this new series. I grew up on Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys—read every book in both series—so I'm thrilled to find something new and equally as fun. I had no idea people surfed on the Great Lakes and found that fascinating. I liked Emily's character immediately. She's smart and confident. I liked that she had a unique interest and was determined to put in hard work to see her dreams happen. Emily also wasn't shy about telling a cute boy what she believed. I loved that, seeing a girl with enough conviction to stand up for her beliefs, even to a cute upperclassman. Peer pressure does not sway this young sleuth! 




    I had two little pet peeves in the story. One, Emily's dad was really mean at times. It killed me that he didn't even listen to his daughter, let alone believe her when she said she didn't steal the necklace. I felt so bad for her. Two, Emily copied Mrs. Dancers jewelry designs, sat in a booth beside her, and sold hers at a much lower cost. It's really inconsiderate to copy someone else's work and charge less right beside them, where you can steal all their customers. It seemed a bit unethical for Emily's character. But perhaps I've just worked too many years in the fashion industry and seen too many people put out of business this way.




    The plot of this book was great with enough suspects and twists and turns that I didn't have a clue who'd done it. The other characters were excellent. I loved how different everyone was, and I look forward to seeing some of the side characters again in future books. There were also lots of fun seeds plants for further books in the series which will make girls excited to keep reading. Loved this book. Highly recommended for young readers.

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