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Mark Tidd in the Backwoods: 06/17/12
Mark Tidd in the Backwoods by Clarence Budington Kelland is the sequel to Mark Tidd, His Adventures and Strategies. It's also his third novel out of a long career of more than 60 novels and numerous short stories.
Mark Tidd, though the titular character for a series that includes nine books and three serializations, is not the narrator. That honor goes to a boy nicknamed Biddey.
In this one, Biddey is invited to spend the summer with his eccentric uncle and he can bring along his best friends. So Biddey, Mark and a couple other boys take the train and head out to the countryside for a summer of adventure.
As is the norm for teen adventure books, the boys quickly discover a plot aimed against the uncle to bilk him out of some valuable but forgotten property. The villains seeing the boys as a threat to their con, go to incredible measures to scare the boys off or keep them out of the way long enough to run the con.
As this book is aimed at a much younger audience than the later Kelland books I've read, the emphasis is on adventure, danger and cliff hangers, to the determent of plot and character development.
The book is also more dialect heavy than other Kelland books I've read — although all of them have had some dialect written in. As I'm not much of a fan of phonetic dialect writing, I found the inclusion an unfortunate distraction.
So while it's not my favorite Kelland book I've read, I still am glad I found a copy and had a chance to read one of his earliest works!
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