Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to provide a review of the middle grade mystery “The Wild Ways: Mystery of the Hanging Tower” by Dale A. Swanson. Review completed by Danielle (the daughter).
Title: The Wild Ways: Mystery of the Hanging Tower | Author: Dale A. Swanson | Publication Date: December 7 2015 | Publisher: Rainy River Press | Pages: 130 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 | Reviewed by: Danielle (Daughter)
A loudmouthed gray squirrel named Chatter, a fidgety gopher named Archie, a raccoon with special powers named Ring, and all the animals living on Enchanted Island know they must solve a riddle before their island is destroyed and they lose everything including their lives. Ring convinces them they must do what hasn’t been done in over 400-years; they realize their only hope for survival is to enlist the help of a human to prevent the carnage about to unfold.
They possess information that if revealed would stop the destruction—and—create an alliance for the future.
They choose Oscar Johnson, precocious ten-year-old, to receive the Wild Ways.
They must help Oscar uncover the truth hiding in the foreboding structure they know as the Hanging Tower. Along the way, they involve Jim Brandt, FBI agent, to solve a thirty-year-old murder and uncover information pointing to someone in the highest echelons of the government with elaborate plans for creating a criminal enterprise on their enchanted island.
1. What is the book about?
This book tells the story of animals who are in danger of having their home, the enchanted island, destroyed. If this happens, the animals will lose everything, their homes, their happiness, their lives. The only way to stop their island from being destroyed is by choosing to communicate with a human using the wild ways to get help.
2. Who are the main characters?
The main characters are Oscar (the boy who must save the animals), Chatter (the squirrel), Archie (the gofer), Darling (the rabbit and community leader), Knotted (the woodchuck), Tambo (the crow) and Ring (the racoon with special powers).
3. What are your favorite parts of the book?
My favorite part was when the crows saved Larry by bringing him the log to stop himself from drowning. I liked that part because it would be so cool to be saved by animals.
4. Was there anything that you didn’t like or that didn’t make sense?
No, everything made sense because it’s a fantasy world so anything can happen!!!
5. What are some things you learned from this book?
I learned that you should always treat animals with respect because animals are very important.
6. What do you think of the book cover and other images?
The cover of the book was cute and I liked it. The back was really well done as well, I really like when books also have an image in color at the back as well as the front.
7. Overall, what did you think about the book?
I thought that this book was really good and cool. I wish that I could talk to animals!
8. Who do you think would like this book?
This book was really fun to read and I think boys and girls 8-12 would like this book.
About the Author: Dale A. Swanson
Dale Swanson is a published author, playwright, and poet. His historical novel, The Thirty-ninth Man, was listed in the Star Tribune Best Books Read list in 2013. His poetry has been used in stage productions and two of his radio plays have aired statewide. His fantasy chapter book for middle grade readers, The Secret of the Hanging Tower, is the first in his Wild Ways series and relies heavily on his experiences with wild animal friends as a boy.