"Adventure in the Wilderness" by Veda Boyd Jones is the 13th book in The American Adventure Series. This historical fiction is based on traveling the Ohio River from Boston to Cincinnati in 1808. The issue at hand in this particular book is traveling on the river by flatboat as a means of transportation and the character traits/morals highlighted include fear, honesty, revenge and compassion.
For an review of the series as a whole and a description of how the books stay connected while moving through generations of time, click hear to read Knowledge House's review. If you've read the preceding books, you'll have some ideas of who the characters are, but you do not have to start with the first book and read them all in order. Feel free to pick up on the book covering the time frame you want to focus on and move forward from there. Moving in reverse order would get confusing as the characters referenced would regress in age.
There was a chapter where two kids went exploring a "haunted" house. From reading the previous books, I knew that in each book of this series, one of the main characters has an area they are struggling in that needs to be worked out. The characters have several experiences and by the end of the book, they've learned a good moral lesson, or strengthened their character in some way. So skipping these chapters entirely would omit a big piece of that journey since they are climactic. I asked my boys to wait a moment when I got to descriptive language that seemed to be building toward fear and then I paraphrased.
The kids think this house is haunted. George went in, Betsy followed and broke something, then ran out. George had heard the noise and been terrified it was possibly a ghost. We know* ghosts aren't real, but George might not have known that, and being in and old, empty, strange house probably made him extra jumpy. The trouble is, Betsy didn't tell George what the noise was, even though she knew. Since she'd been scared by something earlier in the journey, she was taking comfort in the thought that now George felt scared too.
Even with these two more intense parts, I valued this book because of the excellent way it portrayed the interactions between two cousins who aren't getting along, and don't seem to have any desire to try to get along. By the end of the book, the lessons learned were clear and motivating. I love that my children and I can learn about both history and interpersonal relationships. We have some great discussions sparked by the books we've read in this series.