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Benny and the Bank Robber: A Young Adult Historical Adventure (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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With his father having been run over in the streets of Philadelphia, Benny (10) and his mother, Abigail, face an uncertain future. Benny watches as people visit their apartment, many of them taking things out with them so there is very little left. Hope rises when Benny spots his father's spectacles, missing since his death, ground into the foot step of a cart. The man is arrested but no monetary compensation is forth coming.
Much to Benny's disgust, him and his mother start to make the trip west to her brother's farm in Osage, Missouri. Benny witnesses part of a bank robbery and that is where we are first introduced to Jeremy in one of his disguises: a mean spirited, lying, despicable man that is only thinking of himself.
Heading up the river on a barge there is a major mudslide. Benny, Abigail and Jeremy are the only known survivors but Abigail has been seriously injured, thought to be dying. Abigail, thinking that Jeremy was an upright business man, made him promise to look after Benny and deliver him safe to Osage. All Jeremy is interested in is getting as much money as he can as he lost all the gold he stole in the river when the barge sank.
Even at the age of 10 Benny realizes that God will never leave him or forsake him although what he goes through certainly tests that belief. He also realizes that Jeremy does not know God. How is he going to know what God wants him to do? Throughout Benny has a lot to learn and comes to see that God can & does work through anyone. Please note that all scripture quoted is from the King James version.
Black Switch, a highly spirited, handsome black stallion who loves peppermint sticks is featured throughout the story. At first Black Switch will not let anyone but Jeremy near him but over time we see Benny win Black Switch's heart and later in the story they even win a race together.
Once Benny figures out exactly who Jeremy is and what he has done, Jeremy threatens Benny with his knife and says "I guess you do get to go along with me, after all , Benny my boy but somehow I don't think we'll make it to Uncle Tom's."
Benny, at least once, tells people who he is and what Jeremy has done but nobody believes him as Jeremy is such a good actor. Benny cannot run away as he knows that Jeremy will kill him. Benny continues to share Jesus with Jeremy even though Jeremy is not interested.
One day as they are going along by the river Benny spots a black bag floating. Turns out to be the gold bag that Jeremy stole. Jeremy goes in after it, nearly drowns only to be saved by Benny and Black Switch. Asking why Benny didn't just let him drown he replied "You don't know Jesus yet!"
Over time a precarious friendship develops between Jeremy and Benny. This is followed by a terrible attack on Jeremy by a cougar. Here we are introduced to Doc Daniel who helps nurse Jeremy back to life. Doc Daniel is also the local preacher.
I'm not going to ruin the book by telling you how the story continues to develop and ends but just know that this book is EXCELLENT! I read it aloud to our 10 year old and as soon as we had finished it he said, "We're going to keep this, right? Are there any more books about Benny?"
Although this book is a work of fiction you could well imagine it happening. It is not far-fetched when you think it was based in the 1800's. You read about real life - prison, bullying, family love and commitment, friendships etc.so it is not sugar-coated! We are going to be reading the rest in the series as although this book does end we are excited to see how the author expounds the characters in the next book and how Benny grows up.
It's great to read a good book appropriate for young readers that has great storytelling with out being about witches, magic, ghost, goblins or zombies. How refreshing!