Spanky, A Soldier’s Son by S.L. LaNeve

Spanky, A Soldier’s Son by S.L. LaNeve
Publisher: My Climbing Tree LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (251 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Spanky loves snakes, sketching, camping, and, well, maybe girls. While his dad is fighting grown bullies in Afghanistan, school bully, Mack Malone, has Spanky in his crosshairs. Worse yet, whenever Spanky needs to defend himself, help a friend, or. . . OMG. . . save his teacher’s life, he freezes! The overnight Outdoor Ed camping trip is Spanky’s best chance to catch the attention of a special girl. It could also make his dad proud to have him for a son. Turns out, it could get him suspended. Ultimately, Spanky learns to face his fears and what it really means to be a hero.

This is a fun story and not just for children who have a parent in the Armed Services. Lots of the experiences in the book, like facing the school bully and having to make new friends after a move, are topics most children can relate to.

I liked Spanky and I think the author did a great job with showing us who his was through his thoughts and actions. The only thing I felt was that sometimes Spanky and his buddies used dialogue that seemed more mature for their age, and some of their actions seemed more like teenagers.

There are some touching scenes in the story like when he’s at the airport and saying goodbye to his dad. Also, the author created a sense of suspense every time Spanky didn’t hear from his father when he was actually serving in Afghanistan. In the end, I, like Spanky, was hoping that his dad had a safe tour of duty.

In the second part of the story, is the part where Spanky really proves himself and makes his father proud. I won’t give it away but it’s a little slice of adventure within this book that I think young readers will especially enjoy.

I think this would be a fun story for both boys and girls and the ideal read for children whose parents are away on active duty.

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