Search and Rescue, by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll, is an exciting mystery for middle schoolers (and their moms!). My 10 year old daughter actually read the book before I did and we both adored 14 year old Emily O'Reilly, the clever main character with a heart of gold. Emily is a wonderful role model with big plans. Her dream is to own her own search and rescue dog and she works hard to raise the funds. In addition to that, she respects her parents and loves the Lord. Not all is perfect in her world, though, as Emily is accused of stealing an expensive piece of jewelry in the very first chapter! There's also the matter of the Windigo in the woods. Is it just an Ojibwa legend or does it truly exist? We also discover that Emily's real mom is in jail and the thought of her being released holds Emily and her brother, Timmy, in fear.
This mystery has many exciting twists and turns as Emily tries desperately, with the help her faithful side kick Olivia, to find the stolen necklace and clear her name. My heart went out to her when her very own father doubted her innocence and the kids at school were cold hearted and judgmental. Nothing like this would've ever happened to Nancy Drew! Through the late night rescues in the woods, the altercations with jealous peers and budding romances, Emily's faith in God shines. I'm hoping that Search and Rescue is just the beginning and that a series of books will follow. We need to explore the storyline of Emily's mother, watch Emily overcome her fear of the water and accompany her on more Search and Rescue adventures!