Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Review: Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular

Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular
Published by Thomas Nelson, 2008.
ISBN 978-1-4003-1345-7
Reading Level ages 9-12

Boomtown tells the story of Reverend Arthur Button and his family as they settle into life in Boomtown, Washington. A life that Rev. Button was NOT prepared for! But one he's determined to keep after hearing that all 24 of his predecessors at Boomtown Church have died in bizarre mishaps.

I read this book aloud with my 5 year old son expecting lots or word play, puns, adventures and wacky characters. Our expectations were not disappointed. Only in Boomtown will you find a sheriff named Burton Ernie, fireworks at every holiday, and townspeople filled with grace and forgiveness.

My son has thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Rev. Button and his family. I think boys of all ages, especially tweens, will enjoy the fun spirit of Boomtown's residents.

[Spoiler Alert] Before handing this book to your tween son you should be aware that one chapter deals with a baby, born to young unmarried parents, who is left on the Buttons' doorstep. I was unprepared for this subplot in a book about exploding hen grenades and rocket Santas. The author handles the topic with grace but the resulting conversation I had with my son about adoption was not one I had expected when I started the book. Also, the baby's parents are of different races (in a book set in 1950 when such a thing was a big deal) which went unnoticed by my five year old but could raise questions with a tween.

Overall Boomtown is a fun and interesting story best read as a family with an awareness of potential for deeper parent-child discussions.

*** For more Boomtown reviews visit Stephanie at Olive Tree and Alicia at Experiencing Each Moment.


Alicia said...

Great review, Steph. That's actually a very good synopsis. I loved that Burton Ernie name. Very clever.

Carrie said...

Yours is the second review I've read of this book and both were generally positive so now I'm really curious! =D Sounds really fun!

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

OH MY GOODNESS. I totally did not even catch that his name was like Bert-n-Ernie!! :) How funny!

Great review!

Alicia said...

For Steph @ Olive Tree...I didn't catch it either until I was reading some random excerpt to my husband out loud, and it spilled out.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I think that's where reading this book out loud is a benefit. You can hear the word play and puns that you might not catch when reading silently.

Nowen N. Particular said...

Dear Mommy's Brain,

My name is Nowen N. Particular, the author of Boomtown. I just wanted to thank you for your very fair and balanced review of my book. It is, as you and your friend Alicia suggest, a "very busy book" with a lot going on and a lot to think about. I often tell people that Boomtown is "a kid's book for grownups." Alicia found the Bible Study Guide, which can help guide discussion (for those interested - available on my website at

Anyway, I just wanted to say again how much I appreciated your review, as well as Alicia's and Stephanie's. Nowen.

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