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That Sinking Feeling (Blue Water Mysteries) Review by Kris Price

By Janyre Tromp
Kregel Publications
616-451-4775
PO Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2607
http://www.kregel.com/

It's often difficult to find good, wholesome reading for older children, especially those in the "tween," or age 12-15, bracket. These kids are too young for most of the teen fiction out there, and if you are like me, you don't have time to have to pre-read everything your child wants to read! That Sinking Feeling is the first of the Blue Water Mysteries, and Janyre Tromp does a good job of getting into the minds of early teenagers.

The main character, Audrey, is 13 and helping out at her dad's diving shop for the summer. Her best friend, Max, is 14 and Cambodian/German. They enjoy working side by side and scuba diving when Audrey's dad can get away from the shop. I enjoyed reading about this boy-girl friendship that is not at all romantic (at least not yet--not sure what future books in the series hold). So many books for the "tweens" are already dealing with dating and crushes, etc., as if boys and girls can no longer be friends once they become teenagers. Due to Max's heritage, this book deals with racial slurs and prejudices, an aspect of life that all children need to understand.

Early in the story, we learn that there has been a rash of burglaries in the town and they are getting increasingly violent. Max's mom is writing about them for the local newspaper, and evidence that Audrey and Max stumble on seems to point to Max's older brother being involved in the break-ins! Audrey sets out to find the truth, and her behavior worsens as she tries to protect her friends and family--she lies and is disobedient. After Max is seriously injured trying to help Audrey solve the crimes, Audrey attends church and hears that "the Lord detests lying lips." Audrey takes the message literally, believing that God now detests her for the all of the lying she has done. However, she soon learns what a loving God she worships!

This is a quick read at 121 pages ($5.99) but satisfying in many aspects. The characters are well fleshed out, the mystery of the burglaries keeps the reader wanting to turn the page, and the ending explains the true meaning of God's love. Although written from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl, a boy of the same age would probably enjoy the book, too. At this time, there are no other books in the series available. Hopefully Ms. Tromp will fix that and write a few more stories about Audrey and Max as I found this story quite enjoyable!

Product review by Kris Price, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2006

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