Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Mill Creek Irregulars Series by August Derleth

I just finished reading the Mill Creek Irregulars series and have added the Mill Creek Irregulars section to my website.  On the main page of the section, I placed some useful links at the bottom, in particular, a link to an excellent article about the series.  When I create a page for my site, I do not wish to copy what has already been published elsewhere.  It is so easy to plagiarize someone else without intending to do so.  The article to which I linked has some excellent quotes from the series, and I chose to use different quotes in my reviews, which will be published later this month. 

I adapted the publisher summaries for the summaries placed on my site.  Publisher summaries are often quite sloppy and inconsistent, and this was certainly the case for the Mill Creek Irregulars.  The summaries generally were in the past tense, but a few were in present tense.  I like for my summaries to be in present tense, so I had to shift the tense of most of the summaries.  I also had to reduce the length of some summaries which were too long.

Most of my comments about the series will be forthcoming in my reviews.  I spent a lot of time studying maps as I read through the books.  I took the screen captures shown here.  I did not wish to put the screen captures in with the reviews, so I created this post in order to place them here.  I wanted to do so in case others find the maps useful while reading the books.

The Mill Creek Irregulars series by August Derleth is set in Sac Prairie, Wisconsin.  Sac Prairie is the slightly fictionalized name of Sauk Prairie, a real location in Wisconsin.  Sauk Prairie is the nickname of the adjacent cities of Sauk City and Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin.  As always, click on each image to see a larger version.

All of the locations described in the Mill Creek Irregulars series are based on actual locations in Wisconsin.  Readers of the series who are not familiar with Wisconsin will find it quite helpful to view maps of the locations, since they are described in painstaking detail in the series.

Steve and Sim spend lots of time at the harness shop, and the location of the harness shop is shown on the following map.

Steve and Sim explore various locations along the Wisconsin River, including Black Hawk Island.

In The House on the River, the boys explore an old house on the island part of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

The Mill Creek Irregulars is an outstanding series, and I highly recommend it.  While reading the books, I tried to figure out which series is most similar.  The easiest way to convey to others whether a series will appeal to them is to state which series are similar.  I first thought of the first five Trixie Belden books by Julie Campbell; I mention only the first five because that group contains the kind of exploring and adventure that is similar to the Mill Creek Irregulars.  I thought of Charles Dickens novels because of the outstanding characterization and detailed descriptions.  Finally, I settled on the Brains Benton books by Charles Morgan, III, and the Roger Baxter series as most similar to the Mill Creek Irregulars, both of which I consider just as outstanding as the Mill Creek Irregulars.

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