Death Valley Plants
Black Turtle:
Hot Springs Casualties
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Quick Summary:

Hippies are camped in the valley and the local pastor vows to put a stop to this abomination. The local kids and the hippy kids must deal with the pastor's strange antics.

Back Cover Blurb:

     A group of hippies are reported to be swimming in the raw up near a local hot spring and, as might be expected, many of the more conservative townsfolk of Liberty are alarmed by this revelation. Pastor John Wilson leads the fight to save Liberty from permissive outside influences, but experiences a little alien intervention along the way. Convinced that he has received a revelation from the Almighty Himself, the pastor must convince his parishioners that the hippies aren't so bad after all and that, in fact, they should be emulated in certain ways.

     Patrick, James, and Sawyer are boys who live in Libery who meet some of the hippie boys and form a friendship with them. They share many adventures along with the pastor's son, Brandon, and another boy from the church named Jake. Together they discover the truth behind Pastor John's conversion experience, but that doesn't stop them from having a lot of fun just the same. Somehow, despite all these disruptive events, the boys must still complete their science fair projects.

     Will Pastor John start a new religion? Will he be ousted as pastor of the largest church in Liberty? Can the boys complete their science fair projects on time? How can so much controversy revolve around peaceful, relaxing hot springs? Come have a blast with the boys as they learn about the pleasures and dangers of hot springs!


(WARNING: Some content may be somewhat inappropriate for children under the age of fourteen.)

More Information:

     Religious people can be quite narrow-minded about a lot of things. Viewed from the perspective of aliens from another planet some of the Puritanical restrictions placed on human behavior in our society that are the result of the influence of modern Christianity, would seem truly bizarre and even a bit silly. Often the significance of certain acts is blown out of proportion. It is not clear why those who do not prescribe to a given set of religious beliefs should be required to follow the behavioral guidelines derived from such beliefs, but quite often individuals of a religious persuasion are successful at getting their religious beliefs codified into law. Justification for this state of affairs is a bit dubious, but often religious folks feel fully entitled to impose their will on others. Certainly this is what John Stuart Mills had in mind when he spoke of the danger of the tyranny of the majority inherent in democracies that don't have appropriate restrictions in place limiting the extent to which government can interfere in what should be personal and private matters.

     What does this have to do with Black Turtle: Hot Springs Casualties? Well, to begin with although the main characters in the book are a group of fun-loving boys, the story is really about a small, isolated town in the middle of the desert inhabited by people, the majority of which, prescribe to a Puritanical mindset. However, this way of viewing the world gets challenged in a number of ways as the events of this story unfold. The boys are directly involved in these events and directly observe the reactions of the adults around them. In fact, some of the boys experience negative consequences as a result of the clash of cultures that is portrayed in the story. Does the dominant culture resist counter-cultural influences or does it change and adapt to evolve into a more inclusive culture?

     Although conflict between those with different ideologies can often become nasty and even violent, such conflict also provides many opportunities for humor, growth, and insight into the human condition. Although there is much disagreement and even negativity expressed by some of the characters portrayed in the book, the main characters are still able to enjoy a great deal of fun-filled adventure. Not only do they meet, and develop friendships with, people with backgrounds different from their own, they also get to ride around on ATVs in the desert, explore mines, and even meet aliens from another planet. On top of all this they somehow manage to complete their science projects. In fact, one of the boys does his science project on the dangers of hot springs!

More info at amazon.com: Black Turtle: Hot Springs Casualties