This first 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 Red Hot Possum is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
When 11-year-old Les moves to a new neighborhood, he meets several children who have one thing in common: They are all avid fans of the Sugar Creek Gang mysteries (a real book series written by Paul Hutchens). Before long, Les, Bits, Tiny, Lynn and Mike form the New Sugar Creek Gang and set out to solve their first mystery. They want to know who is illegally trapping possums in Sugar Creek County Park and why. As Les and his new friends search for answers, they discover some truths about prayer and honoring parents. In the end, they deduce that the owner of a possum farm is behind the illegal activities in the park.
The main character, Les, is a believer who attends church with his family. Many of the other characters are Christian as well and also attend church. In several instances, the children pray when they don't know what to do. A biblical worldview is reinforced by most of their parents.
The members of the New Sugar Creek Gang honor their parents, with the exception of Bits. Bits is often disrespectful and even disobedient. In one instance, Bits acts on a disobedient decision and finds Les and herself in danger. Tiny is outspoken in telling Bits about the importance of obeying those in authority, especially her parents.
Animals are caught in traps but the graphic details are not described.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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