The Hidden Message, book 2 of Adventures of the Northwoods by Lois Walfrid Johnson was copyrighted in 1990. This Christian historical mystery was published by Bethany House Publishers has 142 pages and is for children 8-12.
Kate, Anders and Erik decide they need to solve the mystery of Josie’s family’s missing steer and Erik’s family’s canned goods. They discover it is their prime suspect, Stretch, but they never knew he did it because he was hungry. New brother and sister, Kate and Anders, need to help Mama while Papa during the winter of 1906 in rural Wisconsin. Kate and Anders along with Erik begin to suspect Stretch of taking the canned goods when Kate sees him with blue hands. Papa once told Erik that you should always believe in someone until proven otherwise. Anders and Kate both take that into consideration, but Kate has problems with it, because Stretch left her in the frozen lake to drown. Kate lies to her mother about almost drowning and she is send to her room every afternoon for a week. She sneaks out and little sister, Tina, tries to follow and almost falls out of a tree. Kate tells her mother, who forgives her. Now she just needs to ask God for his forgiveness. When they are visiting the Berglund’s and Kate sees the extra food in their cellar. They get Big Gust and go to see Stretch, who admits to taking the food and the steer, because his father left. Kate forgives Stretch as God forgave her. Kate, Anders and Erik learn to forgive and God is on their side. They need not fear when he is with us.
Lois Walfrid Johnson is well known and has a won a Gold Medallion for her series Lets-talk-about-it. She has written some pre-teen devotionals, which are bestsellers. She has a husband and three children and lives in rural Wisconsin. She included acknowledgements in the back of the book to all those who help and were there for her.
There are three clear issues in this story; God sent His Son to save us, believe in someone until proven differently, and God forgives us. I thought these were important to everybody, because we all need to be reminded about what God has done for us. We can so easily forget in this busy world what life should be about and this book show us what we should be thinking about. It is nice to be reminded that our sins are forgiven and not to worry any more.
I did not like how Kate did not always listen to Anders. She should listen to him because he has lived in the area longer, so he knows the area and the people. I liked how Kate took the time to learn special organs songs for Tina and Papa.
I would recommend this book, because we all need to remember to forgive others and that God is with us. It is always fun to read a good mystery.