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Be Your Own Duck Commander Collector's Set Review by Brandy Brockhausen

John Luke Robinson with Travis Thrasher
Tyndale Publishing
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

As a family, we enjoy watching the Robertsons on Duck Dynasty. My son enjoys the funny antics of Willie, Jase, Si, and the other cast members, and it is nice to have some family-friendly entertainment we can all share together. However, getting him to read actual chapter books is more of a challenge. When it comes to reading, he is definitely more interested in comics. This is why I found the Be Your Own Duck Commander Collector’s set so intriguing. I figured, maybe, just maybe, it would entice him to read a little more on his own.

The full set comes with four books that remind me of the “choose-your-own-adventure” series I loved as a kid. These books are fun primarily because you get to decide on the ending, and, if you don’t like how things went, you can always start over and choose again. Also, unlike traditional chapter books, that seem to go on “forever” in my son’s eyes, these adventures can be relatively short, which suits his attention span, allowing him to read for a while, complete a story, and then come back and start an entirely new adventure later.

The first book he dived into was Si in Space, because he loves Uncle Si. In this story Si blasts off into space with John Luke to explore a special business opportunity, but as expected, things do not go according to plan. My son said this was his favorite of the four books, and it is definitely the one he spent the most time with. He thought it was funny, and it captured Si’s personality on the pages.

Jase and the Deadliest Hunt finds Jase and Willie with their boys John Luke and Cole hunting some very unusual animals on a remote deserted island. Naturally, Jase and Willie go through their usual amount of back and forth while they try to decide what to do and how to get themselves out of their current situation.

In Phil and the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, John Luke and his grandfather are asked to investigate the spooky goings-on at a local camp. The slightly scary and mostly funny tale asks readers to turn on their inner investigator to decipher the clues and figure out what is really happening.

I thought Willie’s Redneck Time Machine was the funniest. In this story, Willie and John Luke travel back in time through an outhouse. They get to experience a nineties prom, witness some Biblical stories, and then catapult into the future, all while trying desperately to return home in time for Korie’s birthday party.

What we loved most about these books was how true they stayed to the actual personalities of the characters you see on television. My son told me he almost felt like he was watching episodes of the show as he was reading, and, the best part for me, was that he loved reading them. He took them in the car, to the doctor’s office, and even read them before bed! As a mom who just wants to broaden her kid’s reading repertoire, it is extremely satisfying!

I think these books are a lot of fun, and if you have a middle school or upper elementary school Duck Dynasty fan, you should definitely check them out. I would absolutely recommend them for reluctant readers, particularly boys, who are fans of the series. The “choose-your-own-adventure” format gives them more control over what they read, and they are hilarious. I’m hoping there is another set in the future.

-Product review by Brandy Brockhausen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2016