In Green Pastures is an adventure novel based in the Colorado Territory in 1872. It is the third book in the Mysterious Ways series. Charlie is a young man who lives with his grandfather, who has taught him to believe in God and to live by His Word. Life-and-death situations confront Charlie, who is on the verge of manhood. The plot is woven with threads of family, villains, loss, victory, romance, and adventure. Historical elements, such as the newly built railroad, freed slaves, Native Americans, and a Jesse James train robbery, add color and texture to the tale.
Charlie is an easy-to-believe and easy-to-like character who doesn't always do the right thing but is willing to apologize, learn, and make things right. He faces real temptations and challenges to which most people can relate. Without being too pushy, he unapologetically shows how Scripture, prayer, and testimony are important and necessary in his life.
This book (or the entire series) could be used as a supplement to an American history curriculum, or it could be used as part of language arts or for a book club. Because of the age of Charlie, I would recommend this book for middle school students and above.
Pros: This was a well written, interesting historical novel with a definite Christian flavor. I would be delighted to have my tweens and teen follow the adventures of this young man of faith as he faces real challenges and trials and finds his strength in trusting God and His Word.
Con's: Although I was impressed by this book as a standalone novel, it would have had much more impact if I had read the previous two books in the series. There are mysteries solved and stories completed in this volume that were set up in the earlier volumes.
I have set the book aside for my kids to read for pleasure. I plan to buy the first two books so that they can reap the full benefit of the stories.