The Mys­te­ri­ous Light­house of Chelton

Ruth Ben­jamin
  • Review
By – March 26, 2012
In Ruth Benjamin’s sequel to The Lost Trea­sure of Chel­ton, the Suz­man and Levine kids have a new mys­tery to solve. Strange lights are flash­ing from the old aban­doned light­house, and they are deter­mined to dis­cov­er why. Dur­ing their inves­ti­ga­tion, the read­er is treat­ed to a mys­te­ri­ous ghost, trap doors, secret pas­sage­ways, old lost ships, and a sur­prise end­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Ben­jamin uses a heavy hand to show the ben­e­fits of what her char­ac­ters call reli­gious” Judaism. The didac­tic thread slows the pace of the nov­el. Mrs. Levine com­pares her shal­low friends” in the city to the warm and friend­ly rab­bi. Her son, Alex, real­izes how bor­ing car­toons real­ly are. In the end, the nar­ra­tive is too one-sided and may alien­ate read­ers who are not obser­vant. When Ben­jamin stays focused on the kids and the mys­tery, her nar­ra­tive brings to mind both the Nan­cy Drew and Hardy Boys series. The read­er nev­er real­ly fears for the chil­dren. The dia­logue is appro­pri­ate for young inde­pen­dent read­ers. Ages 9 – 12.
Sarah Aron­son holds an MFA in Writ­ing for Chil­dren and Young Adults from Ver­mont Col­lege. She is a full time writer and has recent­ly pub­lished her first nov­el, Head Case (Roar­ing Brook) for young adults. Sara blogs every Thurs­day for the Lilith blog.

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