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    Review of TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS by Victor Appleton


    Grosset & Dunlap, 1911

    While rescuing a group of castaways in an earlier novel in this series, young inventor Tom Swift had met a mysterious man who claimed to have created some diamonds. Now this man, Mr. Jenks, asks for Tom's help. He invested in a group who claimed to be able to manufacture diamonds in exchange for the secret of diamond manufacture. Instead, the diamond-builders took his money, drugged him, and dumped him far from their headquarters on 'Phantom Mountain.' Jenks will share the secret with Tom if Tom will help him win it. Of course Tom's airship will play a critical role as it'll be needed to bring Tom and Jenks to wherever Phantom Mountain might be.

    Tom agrees to help out and he, Jenks, usual sidekick Wakefield Damon, along with gloomy scientist Mr. Parker set off west in search of Phantom Mountain and the diamond secret.

    The creation of diamonds is an interesting scientific problem--a problem that is only now being addressed, nearly a hundred years after this book was authored. Still, it is a possibility, and something that will eventually do much more than offer a way of producing jewels. It's fun, therefore, to see such an early novel attempt to explain how diamonds might be created.

    In TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS, author Victor Appleton (see more reviews of novels by Appleton) delivers an action-packed thriller especially suitable for pre-teen readers. Tom and his friends confront a stowaway, the dangers of early air travel, mountain storms, an apparent ghost, and a cave full of outlaws. Appleton's conversational style takes a little getting used to, but can be a lot of fun.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/21/07

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

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