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Girls to the Rescue, Book #7
Edited by Bruce Lansky


Girls to the Rescue;  Cover illustration by Joy Allen; used courtesy of Meadowbrook Press.Meadowbrook Press
$3.95 paper
112 pages


"Ayasha's Arrow" by Mary Houlgate. Ayasha has no talent for women's work, such as making nets or rope, and her sister Abequa never lets her forget it. Ayasha is good with a bow and arrow, but she has to practice in secret because the women of her Anishinabe tribe are forbidden to hunt or use weapons. One day her two little brothers become trapped in a tall tree. It's up to Ayasha to figure out how to rescue them, using Abequa's rope and her own bow and arrow.

"Troop 13 to the Rescue" by Penny Warner. This year the girls of Troop 13 are sure they will beat their rivals of Troop 7 in the rapelling contest. After all, Jonnie has been practicing extra hard. And when the contest begins, Jonnie takes the lead! Then something happens to another girl's rope and the rest of Troop 13 watches as Jonnie stops too, while Tiffany of Troop 7 finishes first.

These are just two of the adventures to read in Girls to the Rescue, Book #7. You will also meet Kimberly who has to land a plane when the pilot is knocked unconscious, and Taneya who saves a family of gorillas from poachers, and Angelita who saves her little brother and herself from a wildfire. There are eight stories in all, about eight girls whose cleverness and bravery carries them through tricky, unpleasant, or outright dangerous situations.

In 1995 editor Bruce Lansky published the first Girls to the Rescue, an anthology featuring girls not just as protagonists of their stories, but as heroes. Readers reacted so positively that the series has continued to expand, and Girls to the Rescue, Book #7 is the most recent.

To be sure, the content has evolved somewhat from the series's beginnings. In the first books the stories tended to be adapted folk and fairy tales. The later volumes, including Book #7, are more likely to present their characters as real girls in real life situations. The stories take place in both the present and the past; some, such as "On the Way to Broken Bow" and "The Treasure beneath the Hay," are even inspired by true events. What has never changed is the girls' wits, courage, and determination.

Individually, each story is a good read: entertaining and engaging, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes funny. It almost seems amazing that authors are able to keep coming up with new ways for the young heroes to prevail. That said, however, there is an unfortunate sameness to the stories here, especially following the previous six volumes. Still, any one of the books is worth reading (bookstores tend to hide them in the "short fiction" or anthology sections), and Girls to the Rescue, Book #7 is no exception.

The Girls to the Rescue series:

  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #1. Meadowbrook Press, 1995
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #2. Meadowbrook Press, 1996
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #3. Meadowbrook Press, 1997
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #4. Meadowbrook Press, 1998
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #5. Meadowbrook Press, 1998
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #6. Meadowbrook Press, 1999
  • Girls to the Rescue, Book #7. Meadowbrook Press, 2000

Reviewed by Wendy Morris. © 2001 by Wendy Morris

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