This fifth mystery book in the "New Sugar Creek Gang" series by Pauline Hutchens Wilson and Sandy Dengler is published by Moody Publishers.
The Case of the Looney Cruise is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
When the Walkers and the Sugar Creek Gang take a vacation together on a houseboat in Minnesota, they invite another guest, Lisa Glenn. Lisa is a spoiled teenager who constantly belittles Les and his friends. She considers them losers because they respect their parents and don't smoke or drink. Les watches out for Lisa, such as when he follows her after she has said unkind things to him, so he can lead her back to the houseboat. Later, when all the kids become lost in the woods and must work together to survive a violent storm, Lisa learns more about how the others' lives have changed because they became Christians. In the end, she does not feel that their faith is something to belittle.
This book is written from a Christian worldview. Jesus, prayer, the Bible and God are all discussed. Lynn tells Lisa that the only way to heaven is through the knowledge of Jesus. Tiny recognizes that even this vacation is a gift from God.
Lisa, who is not a Christian, defies authority. She does what she wants. At one point she tries to persuade Les that it is okay to drink and smoke because his parents will never know. The Sugar Creek Gang honors and respects authority and recognize that their parents are to be honored and obeyed. Mr. Walker explains to Lisa that he is currently her legal guardian and he expects her to do what is asked of her. Disobeying authority is viewed in a negative light.
Lisa says she will worry about heaven when she is older.
Though no profane words are actually printed, Lisa is characterized as using foul language.
Lisa talks about making out and asks if the Sugar Creek Gang ever plays "kissy-face." Les is repulsed by the idea.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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