Book 1 Overview: Legend of the Ghost Buck
Book title and series:
Legend of the Ghost Buck, Hometown Hunters Series
Lane Walker, 2014
Fiction, Action & Adventure
Bronze Moonbeam Children's Book Award
The first book of the series in the Hometown Hunters Collection - Legend of the Ghost Buck, by Lane Walker, contains 137 pages of pure thrill and adventure. In the six-book series, Walker’s descriptive story telling brings each page to life, making it easy to see why these books received and deserved the Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Hunting books for young readers are rare to find, so it was a no brainer to dive into these books to see what all of the hype was about among the thousands of reviews applauding Walker’s books. Legend of the Ghost Buck is a rollercoaster with twists and turns, ups and downs, about a boy, a bow and a buck that is a guaranteed page turner for hunters and non-hunters alike. After finishing the first book of the series, I knew I wanted to keep reading the adventure filled stories, and I know you will too.
Thirteen-year-old Boone Mason has lived his entire life in Pikesville, Michigan. The small town that once was booming, has become dull and boring to him. This all changes when hints of a legendary, massive buck begin to appear in the town. Boone’s main passion in life is hunting, the love of the sport has been passed down from many generations. Both his grandfather and dad grew up being avid hunters, so it comes as no shock that Boone would have the same appreciation and interest. Boone sets out on a quest to strike gold in scoring this great buck, while at the same time learning important life lessons and overcoming obstacles along the journey. This thrilling adventure-packed book leaves readers guessing and wanting more, no matter if the reader is an avid hunter or not. Each chapter in Legend of the Ghost Buck portrays the captivating excitement of the hunt that Boone has set out on, along with a few other characters along the way.
Boone isn’t the only Pikesville resident with high hopes of scoring the buck that historically has been referred to as the “Ghost Buck”. Miles Atwater--Boone’s best friend, neighbor and hunting partner, also joins in on the venture to find the largest buck in Pikesville. Boone and Miles soon find out that they are not the only ones trying to score the gigantic beast. Their other neighbor, Jasper, an elderly, ill-tempered man, wanted the buck all to himself. Jasper made sure that Boone knew just that. Knowing this, Boone continues to try and achieve his goal of scoring the buck, but he struggles with believing in himself. He cannot seem to stop hearing negative comments and losing faith in himself, until one day of bow hunting with his Grandpa changes the way he looks at hunting and himself. Boone finally stops asking himself, “will I really ever be able to shoot my arrow into the buck?” and finds the faith that he needs to work towards his hunting goal. In Legend of the Ghost Buck, readers are invited along to Boone’s story about how believing in yourself, and others, is sometimes all it takes to achieve your dreams, and have the adventure of a lifetime along the way.
Rumors of the legendary buck begin to swirl throughout the town, and pretty soon, whispers of sightings of the buck travel elsewhere attracting people from all over to get their eyes--and their aim on this buck. With the city beginning to fill up with tourists from near and far, the pressure is on for Boone to find the buck. On top of other competition Jasper, the old, frigid neighbor, has made it clear that the buck was to be his and his only. The grumpy man’s harsh and mocking words would consume Boone’s thoughts and dreams. When Boone is faced with an unexpected task, it forces him to cross property lines onto Jasper’s land marked with the intimidating “no trespassing” signs all over. This is when he finds just the evidence he needed as proof that this buck did exist, and it was right in Pikesville! Throughout all of the negativity, Boone never gives up on his promise to himself, instead, he learns along the way how to believe in himself, and doesn’t give up. As time goes by, Boone still only has one thing on his mind--the ghost buck. After a few bumps in the road, overcoming obstacles within himself and with others help push Boone closer to his goal after he finds it in him to believe in himself. Faith, family and friends--even some unexpected ones--finally help Boone conquer his goal in scoring the massive, legendary Ghost Buck.
Evaluation & Conclusion:
Legend of the Ghost Buck was an exciting and inspiring chapter book read. Lane Walker’s writing comes to life giving each page of the book something that is worth reading. As someone who did not grow up hunting, I can say that the adventure and lessons portrayed throughout the book made this book a great read. This goes to show that you do not need to be an avid hunter to enjoy this book, if you like adventure and some thrills, Legend of the Ghost Buck is perfect for you. Each chapter ended maintaining and holding my interests and attention, making it hard to put down. Walker does a great job at keeping the thrill and wonder within the adventure of this book, which led me to purchase the entire series just to continue the adventure and mystery going. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story with twists and turns, and valuable lessons that you can take away as a reader.