Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Boomtown - Book One by Nowen N. Particular

Exploding Elves, Rocket Reindeer, Baseball Bazookas, POPcorn, Hot Cakes, Hen Grenades, and flying barber chairs. What do they have in common?

Boomtown... where everyone's favorite thing to do is blow stuff up!

I have to admit that I'd never heard of this book before I found it online. I read the description and thought it sounded like something good that I would like to read and than could share it with my 9 year-old nephew. He loves to read and this sounded like his kind of thing. It's a really fun book.

Boomtown - Book One, Chang's Famous Fireworks Factory (stay away from the chickens) by Nowen N. Particular is first of all, quite a mouthful. And at 323 pages for a young adult read, it's quite a handful. But it's a good handful. Inside the front and back covers are maps of Boomtown and throughout the book and many old style black and white photos, line drawings and diagrams.They add an extra fun element and sense of authenticity to the story.

The story is told by Reverend Arthur Button who decided to move his family of five from the city in California to a small rural town in Washington in 1949. He accepted the job of pastor to enjoy the quiet life with friendly neighbors, a house with a yard and snow at Christmas. They found friendly but it was anything but quiet there. Their new home was also the location of a famous firework's factory. Fortunately the people who lived there loved to blow stuff up. And the Buttons became famous for blowing something up before they even reached their new house.

An unexpected stop on the way into town led to a "small" explosion at Chang's factory. A test went wrong, with some help from the Button children, and the fire was enormous. But in a place where everything is connected to the factory, where even the streets have names like Dynamite Drive and TNT Trail, this was just another experiment. Another day at work. Everyone took it in stride and welcomed them with open arms.

The Buttons feel right are home and immersed themselves in the charm of the small town. This was a place where community worked together as equals despite their varied backgrounds. They treasured their families, and worked hard. They were good people but they were also odd. Every day was a new adventure and the world was their playground. And they had a lot of fireworks to celebrate with. They weren't without their problems though. A mysterious string of robberies began occurring in the area. The Buttons also learned that there appeared to be some sort of "curse" on the reverends of the past. They had either died or disappeared. This was one tradition that Arthur Button would be happy not to pass on.

There are some aspects of the story that I wonder if they will be too complicated for the younger audience to understand but I don't think it really takes away from the overall story. The ending wasn't what I hoped for and I wonder how it will affect the next book in the series. Overall I found it to be a clever and entertaining story. The characters were interesting and I hope they will appear again in future books. There is also mystery behind the identity of the author. On the back cover is a blurb about the author traveling in disguise and keeping his location a secret. This is reminescent of Lemony Snickett and the Series of Unfortunate Events books. You can visit Nowan N. Particular and his Boomtown friends at

Thank you to Thomas Nelson books for this copy.


  1. This looks like fun. I'll be on the lookout for a copy. Thanks for the review!

  2. Just poppin' by to let you know that I gave you an "award" (of sorts) on my post tonight. You can read all the stuff I said about you at:



  3. Got the martini from your header comment. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE pina coladas (... getting caught in the rain...) Ha!

    Glad you liked the award. Pass it along to your favorites.


  4. Hey, Wrighty I have given you the Butterfly award - go to my blog and pick up the logo and the meme. I like the new header, totally cool!


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