Title: Eddie’s Pay Dirt
Author: Carolyn Haywood
Major Themes: Books for Boys, Children
Synopsis: After Eddie comes home from a summer in Texas, he and his friends have many adventures, and he learns a valuable life lesson.
I was quite disappointed just now to discover that Eddie’s Pay Dirt is out of print. My boys have loved this book for years. My second son, especially, has always loved Eddie—they share a lot of similarities. Carolyn Haywood seems to understand boys very well!
Eddie has spent the summer on his uncle’s ranch in Texas. Now, he is coming home on the train! His good friend Anna Patricia goes to the station to meet him—and experiences one disappointment after another before his train finally arrives. Eddie comes off the train—with a parrot, a box labeled Snakes, and box after box of valuable property. The scene on the way home with the snakes is unforgettable!
Throughout the next few months, Eddie and Anna Patricia and their school friends have one adventure after another. Eddie’s pet snake Percy provides some excitement, and the parrot Louella learns some new words, much to Eddie’s chagrin. Then, Eddie and Anna Patricia cook up a plan to make their fortunes, providing much amusement to Eddie’s older brothers. Eddie goes from one adventure to another, always looking for new valuable property. When he suddenly finds something of real value, he finds himself with a situation he has never had to cope with before—will his father’s wise counsel help him to make the right decision?
This is a delightful story of children who seem very real. All boys and girls enjoy this story. They will chuckle with understanding at the problems Eddie and his friends find themselves in, and laugh at some of his solutions. This is a great story for early readers who are ready for longer chapter books. The children in this story try to be good; there is no deliberate naughtiness. Actually, there really isn’t any naughtiness at all, just some childish mistakes. There are also some good thoughts on doing what is right, and you can watch Eddie’s mind work as he comes to the point of wanting to do what is best for another person. Even though this book is out of print, it is worth looking for if you have a boy who needs books to read.
WARNING: At the end of chapter 8, someone says, “who the dickens.”
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12