Try to describe an American boyhood and you might think of Tom Sawyer or Penrod Schofield or even Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show.
For sheer idyllic vision, though, you’d be hard pressed to beat the Sugar Creek Gang. Writer (and former Moody evangelist) Paul Hutchens wrote a series of thirty-six books about growing up in rural Indiana, surrounded by friends with nicknames like Big Jim, Poetry, Dragonfly and Circus, exploring the woods and fields and streams of the farmland around their homes — but only after chores were done. The boys work hard, play hard, and encounter all kinds of interesting people and challenges, from bank robbers to wild animals. Best of all, the books are narrated by a young, Christian boy named Bill Collins, and everything he describes goes through the twin lenses of boyish wonder and simple Christian faith. It’s great story-telling, always with a good moral, and tremendous fun. A great website
by Rick Mannor tells all about the series, the author, and the real
Sugar Creek Gang — Paul Hutchens’ brothers!
The series was dramatized several times several times for radio. The most familiar is probably the “Adventure Time” series produced at Northwestern College with Paul Ramseyer reading the books and providing the voice characterizations. These are heard on Christian radio stations all over the country, and that’s where we first heard them, long before we knew about the books. To our delight, we found these recordings were available on CD, and we’ve purchased several sets for the family to enjoy. Our friend, Heather Idoni, at Beloved Books
has the whole series available, and great prices for a 12-cd album, or the whole 72 hour series!
Heather read an advance copy of Raising Real Men
, and loved it so much she offered to help us promote it. Starting Monday August 10, if you place a pre-publication order for the book, Heather will send you the audio book for the first Sugar Creek Gang story, The Swamp Robber
, a 2-CD set — absolutely free! How’s that for a deal? Even better, if you already ordered the book, we’ll have her send you a set as a thank you for your early support. And while the books are scheduled to ship in October, we’ll have The Swamp Robber
on its way to you right now! Just click on the link on Preorders
to enter your order, and we’ll send the Sugar Creek Gang automatically. Thanks!