Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stairway to Danger

Fall is upon us, and I know this for several reasons... I'm back teaching school, which means I am up early each morning heading off to work. I live outside of a resort town on the Maryland-Delaware shore, and the traffic has drastically reduced from the congested streets of a few weeks ago. And I also know it's Fall because one of the three local amusement parks in town has already started racking it's rides to head out on the carnival circuit for the winter.

I love amusement parks, especially the older, more traditional parks one runs across from time to time. I also love series books whose plot centers around an amusement park. There is something so atmospheric about an abandoned, or closed for the winter months amusement park. The irony of a place that generally brings so much joy being the site of mystery and intrigue is just plain fun.

One of my favorite such books is Stairway to Danger, #9 in the Rick Brant series. The Rick Brant series consists of twenty five titles that were published between 1947 and 1989. Like many Grosset and Dunlap titles, they were authored under the pen name of John Blaine. Actually, books 1-3 were co-authored by Peter Harkins and Harold Goodwin. The rest were authored solely by Goodwin. The series centers around the son of a world famous scientist and his son, Hartson and Rick Brant. They live on Spindrift Island, located off the coast of New Jersey. Rick and his buddy Scotty get involved in adventures, most of which involve science in some way or another. These adventures take him all over the world.

Stairway to Danger involves escaped criminals and an abandoned seaside amusement park. There are a lot of fun scenes in the park, including a fun climb and chase on the old roller coaster tracks. It is one of my personal favorite books in the series. I'm going to read it again, in honor of the end of the summer season. Are there other series books set in amusement parks?

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