Rock Harbor Search and Rescue
written by Colleen Coble & Robin Caroll
256 pages, published in 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.