The Caper

Friday, November 25, 2011
“I’m worse than the Kelly brothers. And if I’m a fake, then Uncle Jefferson is too. How, Rudy wondered as he crawled into the back seat to wait for the rest, how could he ever have thought he could be the responsible one for Dad? Or the protector for Aunt Gussie? Or the big brother for Marjorie? How could he even have thought he was a Christian?

Book: The Caper (Christian Heritage Series: The Chicago Years #5) by Nancy Rue, Focus On The Family/Bethany House Publishers, 2000

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 10-14
Subjects: Friendship, Identity, Crime, Relationship with parents and siblings
Summary: “I’m depending on you to make sure there is no foolishness while I’m away. It’s up to you, son. No Aunt Gussie, You know she hasn’t been the same since her stoke. Dr. Kennedy says she cannot be upset in any way or it’s liable to happen again, and she may not bounce back this time.” And so begins Rudy’s summer. His dad expects him to be the responsible one. So Rudy takes on responsibility to, as someone says at the end “control your aunt’s health, keep three other children on the straight and narrow, solve a crime, discern phonies from the real thing” and more. It’s not easy being a kid sometimes!
Notes: This is the fourth set of books in the Christian Heritage Series. Each set focuses on a particular time period and tells the story of a young boy growing up in that time. This set is about a young boy and his twin sister who have been raised by their busy father since the death of their mother when they were babies. They and their father move in with their aunt in Chicago where they become personally acquainted with members of the mob, become more cultured, grow spiritually and learn about passions and the outpouring of them. In this book, Rudy learns about hypocrites. He gets involved in a revival tent meeting where people show their faith by dancing and shouting. He’s torn between believing they are being “phonies” and believing that if this is what a Christian is, then he isn’t one. With his dad gone and his aunt facing the possibility of a stroke if she’s upset again, Rudy feels he has no one to talk to. He has to start learning to balance between being a kid and being responsible, especially when faced with a possible crime.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.


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