No Exit (The Apple Grove Gang) by Hamilton C. Burger

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Publication Date: June 1, 2012

HB_No_ExitWhen Benny and Bug learn that Apple Grove’s community center will be shut down, they know that they must fight to save it. Can two eleven-year-old fifth graders make a difference to their town?






Eleven-year-old Alex says that if there’s one thing wrong with NO EXIT (The Apple Grove Gang) it is that the function of the only girl in the story line is to moon over a boy, bake cupcakes and make tacos. She realizes that the story is set in the 1960s when that’s what little girls were expected to do, but her own grandmother, a child of the era, bucks that stereotype as a basketball player who frequently threw snakes at boys. If pushed for a second thing she finds a little off, Alex felt it unnecessary that the boys would steal the taco ingredients from Bug’s father’s grocery store. The character drawn would certainly have given the boys what they needed, had they explained what they were doing.

For Alex’s Forty-two-year-old mother, some things were rather nostalgic. The freedom to ride your bike as far as you can, green stamps, Schwinn bikes and old Pepsi. A life where summer lasts forever. NO EXIT (The Apple Grove Gang) was a charming return to the stories that I read as an eleven-year-old.

Overall my daughter and I really liked the story. We found it to be realistic. Alex felt as though she knew Bug and Benny, but did think it would be really hard on someone her age to be as tall as her father. She giggled when Bug asked for apples as he and Benny were eating them. There’s nothing objectionable about this novel. No violence or swearing. The baddie is simply greedy and the end works out as a realistic solution. Adults are present in the story line and frequently active without taking over as the stars of the show.

NO EXIT (The Apple Grove Gang) is a great tale of how anyone, no matter your age, can make a difference. NO EXIT (The Apple Grove Gang), the first book of the series is a permanent free download on Amazon (may vary according to country).

For more information about Hamilton C. Burger and his work, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodread and Twitter @hamiltoncburger.