August, John. Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire. Roaring Brook Press, 2018. ISBN 978-1-62672-814-1. $16.99. 318 pages. Ages 8-12. Q8 P8.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Arlo Finch is forced to move with his mother and sister to a small town in the Colorado Rockies where Arlo’s mother grew up. Arlo finds he fits in well with a group of kids in a club called the Rangers. The Rangers are a bit like our Boy Scouts in that they learn how to rough it outdoors and skills like team work, respect, etc. Unlike our Boy Scouts, they are also protectors of our world from the Eldritch. The Eldritch are from a parallel realm which lies close to ours in certain areas of the world. Occasionally the Eldritch like to mess with humans and have been known to abduct them. The mystery of this book, which is the first in a series, is why the Eldritch seem to be targeting Arlo.
The author delivers a fun mystery with fantasy overtones. Well thought out and presented!
Verdict: A fun mystery novel for older elementary ages.
May 2018 review by Terri Lippert