Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tales from Maple Ridge: Logan Pryce Makes a Mess

Tales from Maple Ridge: Logan Pryce Makes a Mess

Gracie Gilmore
Illustrator:  Petra Brown 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2015   ISBN: 978-1481426244

Logan loves to fix things, and to repurpose old and broken objects to make something new. He likes to think that he is an inventor of sorts, a person who can solve problems through his creativity. When Logan’s father tells the family that he is going to get a job in the city, and that he is going to give up farming, Logan and his siblings are shocked. Farming is all Pa knows and it is part of who they all are, but apparently farming is no longer financially viable and a change is needed.

Logan’s elder brother is determined to do what he can to help. Even though his father has told him he needs to stay in school, Logan is going to see if he can get a job in Sherman, either working at the paper factory, or perhaps serving as an apprentice at the blacksmith shop.

The day after making his announcement Pa tells everyone that he has managed to find a temporary job in Maple Ridge. He is going to work in Mayberry’s General Store and he will get paid five dollars for helping Mrs. Mayberry unpack all the boxes of goods that have arrived from Chicago.  Mrs. Mayberry actually needs two people to help and so Logan offers to go to the store with his father. His father agrees to introduce Logan to Mrs. Mayberry, but he warns Logan that he will have to “work hard” and do exactly what his father says. They cannot afford for anything to go wrong.

The following day, after school, Logan goes to the store and soon he is helping Pa unload boxes, check the items off lists, and then shelve them in the right part of the store. Logan soon gets the hang of things and is pleased with how well he is doing. What could possibly go wrong?

This charming beginner chapter book takes young readers into the past, and we see how the members of a family cope with coming change. Set in the late 1800’s, the story shows us that at that time many families like Logan’s were having to adjust to a new kind of society, one that focused less on farming and more on industry and manufacturing.

This is the first book in what promises to be an engaging and interesting series.