I had never heard of The Sugar Creek Gang, but once I saw this little beauty at a local thrift store the other day, I just had to get it.
The Sugar Creek Gang was a long-running series of books aimed primarily at boys. The first book was published in 1940; the last in 1970. Many of them are still in print.
This one, Western Adventure (also called The Sugar Creek Gang Goes Western) was published in 1957. The plot is described as
The best thing the Gang does is imagine. This time their “let’s pretend” game leads to some very exciting reality. The Old West comes to life with a “necktie party” and some thrilling and unexpected aftereffects.
This edition, with this cover, was probably published later, since its the third cover according to this page. Inside the cover, there’s an inscription that says: “Merry Christmas and God Bless, Miss Marlowe and Mr. Terry. 1978”
The back cover of the book describes the boys as
“bounding into adventures filled with suspense, mystery, and laughter. This is a gang of fun-filled, life-loving boys who never have a dull day. Be sure you don’t miss a single adventure!”
I’m sure there’s never a dull day whenever a rifle is involved. Or a “necktie party.” The cover photo, with a rifle-wielding cowboy facing a hanging scarecrow, is a testament to a time-gone-by. The cover would never fly in the current culture.
I think the nostalgia part of the attraction. I’m sure the book is relatively harmless to read — they are “Christian themed,” according to Wikipedia — I just don’t think I could get away with giving a book with a rifle on the cover to my young son. Maybe in a couple years.
There’s a great fan website devoted to the books run by Rick Mannor if you want more information. There’s also a more “official” site that will try to sell you the books and audio adventures.
But, let’s face it … finding them in a thrift store is much more fun than going through some official site, right?
Anyone else grow up with these books? What were they like?