Title: The House on the CliffThe House on the Cliff
Author: Franklin W. Dixon
Pages: 180
Recommended Ages: 10-14
Star Rating: ★★★★

Come along as Frank and Joe Hardy tackle a gang of smugglers!

The Story.

Fenton Hardy is hard at work on a case, and his two sons are itching to join him on it. It seems that a gang of smugglers has established itself off the Bayport coast, and Fenton is almost positive he knows who its leader is. All he needs is to catch him at the racket. That’s where the boys come in.

When Fenton assigns them the job of spying out the coast to see if they can catch their man at his tricks, Frank and Joe are ecstatic. Their father’s injunction not to try to catch the smugglers seems hardly likely to hamper their fun! But when Fenton disappears, and it seems he may have been kidnapped, the boys know what they have to do. Penetrate the house on the cliff which seems to be the smugglers’ headquarters!

Discussion.

Frank and Joe are wonder boys. Not only can they detectivise, box, navigate, and make wild logical leaps (which happen to be right), but they can also sneak past professional smuggler-sentries and take armed gang leaders by surprise. All very realistically, of course. Not.

Alright, so I’ll harness my tiny bit of sarcasm. I actually liked the story – granted it was predictable and stereotypical, but I really like the relationships Frank and Joe have with their parents. So many kids stories have children pursuing activities to spite their parents in an “I’ll-show-you” attitude, but in The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe are most excited when they are helping their dad with a case. I did feel that having the gang leader turn soft at the end was a tad unrealistic, but it fit in with the theme of the book. :)

A chance reference to Frank’s girlfriend, Sally.

Conclusion. Good. I’ll definitely let my kids read The Hardy Boys.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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