Review: Dan Frontier


Dan Frontier
Dan Frontier by William Hurley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to end 2013 by re-reading one of the first books I ever read on my own. (And because I was one book short of meeting my 2013 Reading Challenge, a children’s book was a sure way to get there.)

I’m not sure which came first, my love for the American colonial period, or my love of Dan Frontier books, but the two go way, way back. The Dan Frontier series of books were the first books I remember checking out from the school library and wanting to read. I was one of several outraged boys in second grade who ganged up on one boy who somehow checked out the whole series and had them hidden in his desk.

Well, for a review, you can think of Dan Frontier as Daniel Boone meets Dick and Jane. The story is told in the same style, with very short, simple sentences. There’s no fancy diction, syntax or symbolism here. Just a righteous dude with a musket chopping down trees, leading wagon trains, and generally helping people. In this series-launching book Dan gets help from a boy named Jimmy, who ends up stalked by wolves and Dan has to rescue him with help from some friendly Indians and a very smart horse.

It was fun to re-read this book and remember those long ago days of just learning to make sense of the words printed on a page. I suppose kids today aren’t into things like Dan’s adventures, but Dan Frontier was the top literary character of my second grade school year.

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