A trip to the historic West sends James, Mandy, and Rosco on a search-and-rescue mission for a missing cat. But when mysterious details surface and their search leads them deep inside an abandoned silver mine, will their efforts land them in trouble? Find out in this thrilling adventure!
*Recommended for ages 7-11
*Books do not need to be read in series order
*Contains a back-of-book dictionary with underlined words to encourage the use of new vocabulary
*Early Middle Grade reading level: perfect for an advanced younger reader or an on-level older reader
Fun Facts About the Book:
*My teenaged daughter, age 16, did the interior black-and-white illustrations for this book! She’ll be doing my interior illustrations from now on. Illustrator Josh Addessi, who has done the whole series’ covers, illustrated the gorgeous cover.
*The book’s ghost stories are based loosely on some of the real stories told at Calico Ghost Town, California’s Official Silver Mining Town, founded in 1881.
*Calico is just a couple of hours’ drive from Las Vegas, NV, just inside the California border and past the Mojave National Preserve. It’s ruggedly beautiful and the town is extremely well preserved. If you ever get a chance, go there!
*The McKendrick family, in the book, visits a ‘living history’ ghost town that’s just like Calico, and of course, Rosco and the kids find plenty of adventure and a mystery to solve while Mom, Dad, and Grandma are busy with their own things.
*I named the missing cat in the book ‘Calico’ not only because she’s of the Calico cat breed, but to somehow include (and perhaps, honor) the name of the real town upon which I based the story.
*This book mixes real historical facts about the U.S. silver rush of the 1880s and ’90s with adventure, ghost stories, two cats and a dog, and a load of fun!
*I visited the actual town of Calico, CA in 2015 with my husband, my mother, and my two children (ages 11 and 8 at the time), and this story has been brewing in one way or another, ever since! Even Grandma is in this book, partly to mix it up a bit, but largely, as a tribute to my mother, who had never been to such a place before that visit of ours (neither had I)! We loved it.
*As opposed to most of my books’ seasonal content, the content of this one is great for any time of the year. It takes place in July, but a western town in the desert, like Calico, looks just about the same no matter what time of year you visit. (Much hotter in summer, though.)
*Check out my Pinterest Board on this book if you like pictures to go along with your stories (or if your kids would appreciate seeing more of the true world of the Wild West AND some of the characters and settings as I imagine them and as they’ve been done in the movies, and real things and places from the era of the 1880s Silver Rush. From what the buildings looked like, what the people wore, and what a mine in teh middle of the desert from the 19th century looks like.) It’s fun to look at before, during, or after you read the book. No spoilers involved.
This is my favorite book in the series so far. I know I say this every time I publish a new one (wink wink), but that’s because I do believe my writing has really improved over the years. One of my (adult) beta readers said of this one: “Compelling. I read it in one sitting!”
Anyway, I hope you or your child will too!
Thanks so much!
Have a wonderful day!
~Shana Gorian and Rosco the Rascal