If a boy has grown up in a fundamentalist family he’s almost certain to know the names Bill Collins, Poetry, Circus, Dragonfly, Big Jim, Little Jim, and Old Man Paddler. In fact, those characters are probably just as real to him as people he’s known in in real life.
The Sugar Creek Gang books written by Paul Hutchens involve a gang (the good, wholesome kind, not the kind with guns) of boys who encounter swamp robbers, killer bears, kidnappers, and a host of other adventures. And they do it in the most squeaky-clean way possible. IfÂ you can imagine Tom Sawyer having a Baptist deacon for a dad, you might be close to the right idea.
Living out these adventures is not a bad way to spend your hours as a kid.Â Spend enough time reading them and you can close your eyes and almost taste Old Man Paddler’s sassafras tea…
14 thoughts on “Sugar Creek Gang Books”
As a former Baptist deacon, I still have the whole series in a box in my garage.
If you still have these books in a box in your garage, wouldn’t it be a great idea to sell them to a mother of 3 children (like myself) that would absolutely love reading these books? Let me know. Thank you.
Oh it’s the Sugar Creek gang walking down the road
The Sugar Creek gang that we all know…
Another radio fave…”Rangerrrrrrrr Billllllllll…..warrior of the woodlands!”
Jen…..ranger bill – the listening post!
I have started reading these with my nine-year-old son, and he loves them! I haven’t found much to criticize with them, except the rambly way of spinning out what is basically a pretty thin plot, but hey they ARE for kids! The only thing I’ve found objectionable so far was in book 2, when the Sugar Creek Gang got into a fight with Big Bob Till’s gang, and started beating them up as they yelled at them, “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to say bad words!!!!” and “Christians are not sissies!!!!” As examples of Christianity in action, that particular chapter was a little closer to the Crusades, and I don’t mean the ones with Billy Graham.
I read all of those I could get my hands on when I was about 8 years old. Boys, smoys, I say. You can still hear them on the Bible Broadcasting Network (as well as Ranger Bill). I’m not sure about the Adventures in Odyssey, though. 😉
Wasn’t there a Sailor Sam, too?
I loved the SCG. I could read one of those stories in one day. Reared in a IFB home, we didn’t have TV. So I had plenty of time to read. 😕
Apparently not too long ago, a video version of the series was commissioned and airs on NRB. In this version, though, Poetry is rewritten as a girl.
Wonder how the traditional fundy fanbase reacted (if they even noticed)?
I read these as a kid. (And yes, I am a girl. 😉 ) I have fond memories of listening to the radio versions on trips to my grandma’s house. 🙂 (Hearing the whistle from The Captain’s Club still brings back good memories. 🙂 ) However, once it was over and the station resumed it’s normal program of overly vibrato hymns and bad quality recorded sermons, I was ready for Mom to change it back to the classic rock station. 🙂
Did anyone else around here ever read anything by Patricia St. John growing up? We had Sugar Creek Gang, Patricia St. John, and the Old, Original Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. My Favorite Patrica St. John book was Where the River Begins.
Treasures of the Snow! I loved that book
Great literature? Probably not. But enjoyable, all the same.
We also had the Koko books. I liked them better than the Sugar Creek Gang. They were so much more exciting