Easy Science Project: How To Make a Bouncy Egg

Are you in need of a simple science project that only requires a few household ingredients?  Look no further!  Parents are always telling children not to play with their food, but they’ll make an exception on this one.  Try this fun experiment that turns an egg into a bouncy ball!  The only ingredients required are an egg or two, some vinegar, and a container.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 1: Get a container of vinegar ready. Find a jar or Tupperware container large enough to fit the egg. Grab a bottle of regular white vinegar and fill the jar or Tupperware container with vinegar. Don’t fill it all the way to the brim though, because then putting the egg in will make it overflow.

Step 2: Add dye if you want to color your bouncy egg. You can easily make your finished bouncy egg any color you want to by adding food coloring dye to the vinegar. Just add around 10 drops of the dye to the vinegar, or enough to color the whole container of vinegar.

  • It doesn’t have to be filled to the top but it should be filled high enough so that the egg can be completely submerged in vinegar.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 3: Submerge an egg. Get a raw, unboiled egg. Place the raw egg in the vinegar-filled container. Just drop it in from right above the vinegar so the vinegar doesn’t splash everywhere. Make sure it is completely submerged.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 4: Cover the container. Place a lid on your container and leave it somewhere safe but out of the sun. The less sunlight it gets the better, so either put it somewhere dark like a closet, or cover it with something like a kitchen cloth.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 5: Wait for the shell of the egg to completely dissolve. This process can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. To be on the safe side, wait three days before continuing.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 6: Check the egg. Look at the egg through the container every once and a while to check its progress. The egg will turn a transparent color because the eggshell is decreasing in thickness. The eggshell will soon dissolve, leaving a thick strong egg white.

  • The reason the shell dissolves is because vinegar is a weak acid. The egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. When the shell meets vinegar, it makes a chemical reaction that turns the calcium carbonate into carbon dioxide, which is what those bubbles in the container are.

Step 7: Remove the egg. Take the egg out of the vinegar carefully. Just reach in and pull it out with your hand. Don’t forget to wash your hand afterwards. Place the egg on a couple of paper towels to let it drain.

  • Be extra careful when handling a raw bouncy egg. It will be more fragile than a boiled bouncy egg.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 8: Bounce it. Make sure it’s dry first. You can speed this up by drying it by hand with a paper towel. Be careful not to drop it from too high of a height, as it can still break and leave a mess. Start with just a few inches, and have cleaning supplies ready!

If you enjoyed this project and are looking for more science-related entertainment, be sure to check out jmcremps.com for a great selection of science kits, science books, and loads of other fun, exciting, and educational items!

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikihow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How To Make A Bouncy Egg. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.


Winter Break Reading List for Boys

After all the presents are opened and the toys are played with, it’s time to take a break, sit back, and relax a bit.  There’s nothing better for winding down than a good read.  This is true for us as adults, and it is very true for growing boys as well.  The benefits are reading include a greater vocabulary, a boost in self-esteem, and enhanced communication skills.  Besides the long-term benefits, in the short term, when your child grabs book and begins reading he begins to relax, calm-down and focus on the present.  So after a busy holiday season, an afternoon spent curled up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate may be just what your family needs to get back on track.

Here are a few of our favorite reads:

The Kingdom Series:  The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black takes place in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae where the King and His Son implement a bold plan to save their kingdom; where courage, faith and loyalty stand tall in the face of opposition; where good will not bow to evil.  There are six books in the complete series and starts with Kingdom’s Dawn.  This series will inspire, engage and fascinate your children from one book to the next.  They won’t be able to put them down!

My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.
My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.

My Side of the Mountain Series:  Jean Craighead George is the revered author of this classic, best-selling series that has been a favorite of boys for decades.  Sam Gribley, our boy hero, is terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment.  He runs away to the solitude and danger of the mountains where he finds a side of himself that he never knew.

This set includes the three books in the My Side of the Mountain series, along with the corresponding outdoor guide.  Books included are:  My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful’s Mountain, and every boy’s favorite – the Pocket Guide to the Outdoors.

Robot Wars Complete Series:  Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery-a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. These books are recommended for ages 10-14 years and are perfect for the sci-fi lover in your house!


Summer Reading List for Inspiring Your Children

JM Cremp’s summer reading list is meant to inspire your children with stories of heroism, bravery, encouragement, and lessons in faith.  Here are a few of our favorites:

This summer's reading list is full of heroes and adventure.
This summer’s reading list is full of heroes and adventure.

War Stories: True Stories of WWI & WWII
The 20th century was ravaged by two of the most devastating conflicts in history: the First and Second World Wars. The slaughter and destruction was on such a massive scale it still haunts us today. From zeppelin raids, trench warfare, spies and secret plots, to epic encounters between colossal warships, War Stories, contains a collection of dramatic and unforgettable, true tales.  Recommended ages 8+.

Chief Joseph: The Voice for Peace
Chief Joseph was a peace chief, a great leader who truly believed his nation, the Nez Perce, could live in harmony with white people. Tragically, it was not to be. This fascinating biography separates fact from myth, and tells the compelling story of a man who tried to fight injustice with words, not weapons.  Recommended ages 10+.

Faith & Freedom Trilogy
The Faith & Freedom Trilogy is a sequel series to the Crown & Covenant series, and chronicles new generations of the M’Kethe family who find freedom in 18th century America. Adventure is afoot as Old World tyrannies clash with New World freedoms. Douglas Bond weaves together fictional characters with historical figures from Scottish and American history.  This series (and the one preceding it) are loaded with heroes, adventure, and lessons of perseverance through faith.  Recommended ages 10+.

10 Passions of a Man’s Soul
Mark Elfstrand is the morning show host of Moody Radio Network’s flagship station in Chicago. Elfstrand uses interviews with ten dynamic, powerfully gifted leaders to explore the driving passions that motivate authentic men of God. Exploring topics such as power, adventure, purpose, pleasure, and wealth, this transparent disclosure of men’s innermost feelings brings up thought-provoking questions and surprising revelations about contemporary leaders and historical figures. Readers will discover the hidden leader waiting to emerge from within themselves.

Bear Grylls – A Survival Guide for Life
Filled with exclusive, never-before-told tales from Bear’s globe-trekking expeditions, A Survival Guide for Life teaches every reader–no matter your age or experience–that we’re all capable of living life more boldly, of achieving our most daring dreams, and of having fun along the way. Here’s to your own great adventure!

Inspire Your Children with Stories of Valor and Bravery

As parents, we want our children to be brave and noble and to “do the right thing”.  We guide them and prod them and hope our nagging results in their upstanding behavior.  If you are anything like me, then you probably bombard your children with anecdotes and examples of  upstanding behavior in the hopes that something will sink in.   However, the older my boys get, the less impact my stories seem to have.  Fortunately the written word is alive and well, and stories and books of bravery, heroism and valor abound.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn't a fictional story.
Sometimes, a real page turner isn’t a fictional story.

The book shelves in our house are filled with many of the same books that the folks at JM Cremp’s have recognized as inspiring.  Tales of heroism, grace under pressure, and doing the right thing are abundant; and we are blessed to be able to live in an age where they are readily available to us.  Here are some of my favorites:

A Young Patriot – The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy by Jim Murphy – In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself “as warm a patriot as the best of them.” He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy’s humor.

Geronimo, Wolf of the Warpath by Ralph Moody – Geronimo, the legendary Indian who inspired and fought for his people. But who was this man, really? Here is the riveting tale of the last Apache warrior —told by the author of the bestselling Little Britches. Born in 1829 and steeped in the skills and stoicism valued by his tribe, Geronimo was transformed into a feared and respected renegade after witnessing the brutal slaughter of his family. Ultimately he spent more than 25 years eluding the U.S. Army, which sent 5,000 soldiers to hunt him down.

Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Freedom by Rita Mullin – One of the great thinkers of all time, Thomas Jefferson helped shape America in its early years, and his ideas continue to inspire us today. His amazing contributions include not only writing the Declaration of Independence, but his actions as the United States’ third President, as well as his influence as a scientist, inventor, farming pioneer, and educator.

Frederick Douglass, Rising Up from Slavery by Francis E. Ruffin – From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America’s first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America’s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.
True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

Jim Thorpe, An Athlete for the Ages by Ellen C. Lebreqcue – Simply the best: those words perfectly describe the multitalented Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. Not only did he excel at baseball and football, but he also won gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon—the only person in Olympic history to do so. This fascinating biography discusses: Thorpe’s many family tragedies—including the childhood death of his twin brother; Why he was temporarily stripped of his gold medals (which were restored posthumously); How he helped establish the sport of major league football; His selection as Greatest Athlete of the 20th century in an Internet poll conducted by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Kids will enjoy meeting this amazing sports star whose Indian name aptly meant “Bright Path.”



Discover the American Heroes that Shaped Our Great Nation

As the 4th of July rolls around, most families are focused on the fun associated with this patriotic holiday. If we take a quick moment amidst the fun and celebrations to explore the men, women, and events that helped to shape this great nation, we can turn a memorable holiday into a meaningful holiday.

Here are some kid-friendly, family-oriented, JM Cremps approved books for kids that will introduce your children to some of our nation’s greatest heroes. From Abraham Lincoln to the everyday colonial family, your children will be fascinated and enlightened by the events that took place during our nation’s turbulent past.

Lincoln’s Last Days, by Bill O’Reilly

Lincoln's Last Days Good Books for Boys
Lincoln’s Last Days will educate and entertain the whole family!

Lincoln’s Last Days is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic nights in American history- of how one gunshot changed the country forever. Adapted from Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling historical thriller, Killing Lincoln, this book will have young readers-and grown-ups too- hooked on history.

In the spring of 1865, President Abraham Lincoln travels through Washington, D.C., after finally winning America’s bloody Civil War. In the midst of celebrations, Lincoln is assasinated at Ford’s Theatre by a famous actor named John Wilkes Booth. What follows is a thrilling chase, ending with a fiery shoot-out and swift justice for the perpetrators.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, page-turning action, vivid detail, and art on every spread, Lincoln’s Last Days is history that reads like a thriller.

The American Revolution for Kids, by Janis Herbert

The American Revolution for Kids
The activities and projects in this book are ideal for younger children (with help from someone older), and middle-school aged kids. It offers a glimpse into colonial life.

Heroes, traitors, and great thinkers come to life in the activity book, and the concepts of freedom and democracy are celebrated in true accounts of the distinguished officers, wise delegates, rugged riflemen, and hard working farm wives and children who created our young nation. The American Revolution for Kids tells the story of the Revolution from the hated Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party to the British surrender at Yorktown and the creation of the United States Constitution. All American school children are required to study the Revolution and the Constitution- this book complete with its 21 activities will make learning fun and memorable.

In The American Revolution for Kids Activity Book, children can:
• Make a fringed hunting shirt like the one worn by frontiersman General Daniel Morgan
• Reenact the Battle of Cowpens and the cunning strategy that helped the outnumbered Americans win the war
• Learn how to make their own voices heard in I Protest!
• Dance a minuet like George Washington, the best dancer in Virginia
• Discover how Congress works in There Ought to Be a Law
• Create Papyrotamia, paper cutouts that were all the rage in colonial homes

Gettysburg, The Graphic History by Wayne Vansant

The Graphic History of Gettysburg
The Graphic History of Gettysburg is a great read for middle school children, teens, and adults alike.

The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most famous battles in American history, and is widely recognized as the turning point of the Civil War. A landmark event in United States history, it accounted for the most casualties of any battle during the war and spelled the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.

In this power graphic history, Wayne Vansant describes the period leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as all of the major military events on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, including the famous fight for Little Round Top and the death march known as Pickett’s Charge. He paints portraits of each army’s leaders, including Robert E Lee, James Longstreet, George Meade, and then little-known Joshua Chamberlain.

Vansant concludes a few months later at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery in November 1863, when Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches of all time: The Gettysburg Address. Gettysburg delivers one of the hallmark events of American history in an exciting and innovative format.

Good Books for Boys AND Families!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  – Dr. Suess

To My Sons, Lessons for the Wild Adventure Called Life
To My Sons, Lessons for the Wild Adventure Called Life is a great father-son read.

Dr. Seuss says it the best, the more kids read the better off they will be.  But raising a child who loves to read is quite a challenge in this modern day electronic world.  With options like playing the most recent gaming system and watching TV, books are getting left on the shelf to collect dust.

Here at JM Cremp’s, we know how important reading is for kids of all ages, and we have a great way to encourage reading at home – Family Reading Time.  It’s simple to implement and the rewards are worth the effort. For 30 minutes every day turn off all electronics, gather everyone in the family room and just read.  This quiet reading time is a great way to chill out after a long day at school or to wind-down in the evening before bedtime. Either way, we guarantee before long the kids will be looking forward to family reading time and the closeness it brings to your family.

JM Cremp’s has a huge selection of good books for boys, and families alike.

Mud, Sweat, and Tears by Bear Grylls
From his childhood home on a remote British island to the summit of Mount Everest, Bear tells of his adventure-filled life and the valuable life lessons he has learned. His personal faith and love of family shines through as he overcomes many obstacles. Recommended Ages: 18+

To My Sons by Bear Grylls
This illustrated book is a collection of spiritual and practical wisdom that renowned adventurer Bear Grylls wanted to share with his sons.  It describes the risks, tumbles, and victories of a well-lived life and is ideal bedtime reading for fathers and sons. Recommended Ages: 4+

True Stories of Heroes by Paul Dowswell
A great collection of stories about heroic men and women whose extraordinary courage saved the lives of others.  Your whole family will be inspired by the examples of heroism and bravery by everyday folks in extraordinary situations.  Recommended Ages:  Teenagers+

Book Reviews for Kids – Sterling Biographies Great Lives Series Books

Sterling Biographies Great Lives Series - Good Books for Boys
The Sterling Biographies are a JM Cremps “Good Books for Boys” Award winner!

Sterling Biographies Great Lives Series books are loved by parents for their educational value, but did you also know that kids all over the world love these books for their captivating stories?  That’s why there are millions of these books in print in many languages.  It’s also why we are happy to give the Sterling Biographies Great Lives Series our Good Books for Boys Award.

With characters like Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, George Washington, Cleopatra, and The Wright Brothers; you will be sure to be swept up within these great pages.  You can step onto the moon with Neil Armstrong; conquer Europe with Alexander the Great; explore the great shipwrecks of the oceans with Jacques Cousteau; tramp across the Rocky Mountains and see the Pacific Ocean through the eyes of Lewis & Clark, and even lead the Great Sioux Nation alongside Sitting Bull.  The possibilities for adventure are nearly endless.  And the best part?  These stories are all TRUE!

Note to parents:

If you are a homeschooling family like many of us here at JM Cremps, we encourage you to add these books to your curriculum for homeschooling.  Although the details within the pages may be different from book to book, there is a common thread of hard work, perseverance, integrity, and honor that as parents, we want to expose our children to.  In a world full of mediocrity and selfishness, these stories bring to life the struggles and values that turn boys into men and girls into strong women.  Even if you add one or two of these books to your child’s reading list, they are a perfect addition to anyone’s curriculum for homeschooling.

Book Reviews for Kids – The Sugar Creek Gang Books

A JM Cremps Good Books for Boys Award Winner!

Sugar Creek Gang Books - A JM Cremps Good Books for Boys award winner!
The Sugar Creek Gang Books are a JM Cremps Good Books for Boys Award winner.

Believe it or not, there is an amazing adventure waiting to be found during the next rainy day.   How?  Within the pages of the Sugar Creek Gang Books, of course!  Instead of exercising your fingers on the controls of a computer, xbox™, or PS3™  game, exercise your imagination alongside Bill, Poetry, Dragonfly, Little Jim, Circus, Big Jim, and Tom, as they wrestle with boyhood, faith,  fun, adventure, and a little trouble thrown in just to keep things interesting.

Read by millions of kids for over 70 years, the Sugar Creek Gang Books, by Paul Hutchens, will leave a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to come across them.   In reference to books 1 through 6, a fan writes, “We learn lessons with them (the Sugar Creek Gang boys), become friends with them, grow up with them, and significantly, discover faith in God with them. It’s been 30 years and I still have a sweet spot in my heart for each of these boys. I encourage you to check ’em out.”

Mom and Dad, in your quest to find good books for boys, you will be comforted knowing that the Sugar Creek Gang Books will keep your boys entertained while they are learning some valuable life lessons.   Each book in the series presents a new challenge for boys that requires them to lean on their friends, their faith, and their keen witt.   The narrative story line makes these books ideal to read aloud to your children or grandchildren.  These books are recommended for kids ages 9-12, but have a timeless quality that spans ages and generations.

JM Cremps recognizes the value in providing good books for boys, and that’s why we are thrilled to be able to give the Sugar Creek Gang Books our official Good Books for Boys award.

Sugar Creek Gang Books - The Mystery Cave
The Mystery Cave, written by Paul Hutchens, is included in Set 2, books 7 – 12.

JM Cremps carries these books in convenient sets.

Sugar Creek Gang Books 1 – 6:  The Swamp Robber • The Killer Bear • Winter Rescue • Lost Campers • The Chicago Adventure • Secret Hideout

Sugar Creek Gang Books 7 – 12:  •The Mystery Cave • Palm Tree Manhunt • One Stormy Day • The Mystery Thief • Teacher Trouble • Screams in the Night

Sugar Creek Gang Books 13 – 18:  • Indian Cemetery • The Treasure Hunt • Thousand Dollar Fish • The Haunted House • Lost in the Blizzard • On the Mexican Border

Sugar Creek Gang Books 19 – 24:  • The Green Tent Mystery • The Bull Fighter • The Timberwolf • Western Adventure • The Killer Cat • The Colorado Kidnapping

Sugar Creek Gang Books 25 – 30:  • The Ghost Dog • The White Boat Rescue • The Brown Box Mystery • The Watermelon Mystery • The Trapline Thief • The Blue Cow

Sugar Creek Gang Books 31 – 36:  • Tree House Mystery • The Cemetery Vandals • The Battle of the Bees • Locked in the Attic • Runaway Rescue • The Case of the Missing Calf

The entire family can enjoy these stories together when you listen to them.  Each one is available as an entertaining audiobook.

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 1 (Books 1 – 6):  The Swamp Robber • The Killer Bear • Winter Rescue • Lost Campers • The Chicago Adventure • Secret Hideout

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 2 (Books 7 – 12):  The Mystery Cave • Palm Tree Manhunt • One Stormy Day • The Mystery Thief • Teacher Trouble • Screams in the Night

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 3 (Books 13 – 18):  • Indian Cemetery • The Treasure Hunt • Thousand Dollar Fish • The Haunted House • Lost in the Blizzard • On the Mexican Border

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 4 (Books 19 – 24):  • The Green Tent Mystery • The Bull Fighter • The Timberwolf • Western Adventure • The Killer Cat • The Colorado Kidnapping

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 5 (Books 25 – 30):  • The Ghost Dog • The White Boat Rescue • The Brown Box Mystery • The Watermelon Mystery • The Trapline Thief • The Blue Cow

Sugar Creek Gang Books Audiobook Volume 6 (Books 31 – 36):   • Tree House Mystery • The Cemetery Vandals • The Battle of the Bees • Locked in the Attic • Runaway Rescue • The Case of the Missing Calf

Free Online Kids Books Series – The Missing Treasure Chapter 2

If you haven’t read Chapter 1 of our Free Online Kids Books Series – The Missing Treasure, read it first so you don’t miss a beat!

“Oh no, Billy, I can’t believe it! It’s the Jean Jacket Gang!”

They rode their bikes full steam right up to us and slammed on their brakes barely missing us as they skidded to a stop.

“Look at these guys,” sneered Rat, their leader. His hair was always messed up and looked like a rat’s nest and he was the toughest, meanest kid in 7th grade!

The gang included Samuel “the Rat,” Jimmy “the Thorn,” Clyde “the Bulldog” and Bradley “the Squeak”. Bulldog used to be one of my best friends before he moved to the
other side of town and quit coming to our church.

“Yeeaah, look at these guys,” squealed Squeak. I guess he got his nick name because he had such a high voice and was always repeating what Rat said.

“You boys runnin’ home to see your mommies?” scoffed Rat, his voice sending shivers down your spine like when Mrs. Haglund runs her fingernails over the black board.

“Whatcha want, Rat?” I asked, trying to tough it out.

“Hah! Look guys, he’s got a sweet little hanky in his shirt pocket in case he starts bawlin’ for his mommy!”

Squeak chimed in with a sneering, “Yeah, in case he starts bawlin’ for his mommy!”

“Knock it off, Squeak! You don’t need to repeat everything I say!”

Suddenly Rat charged and before I could do a thing he snatched the map from my pocket!

“Well, well, well. Would you look at this, guys? These two boy scouts got themselves a treasure map. What kinda treasure you bury here, Jeb?”

“Ahh, it’s nothin’, Rat. Just some junk we found out in the woods. Just keep the map, I don’t care.”

I tried my best to play it cool, not giving him any hint that we had found real loot. But it didn’t work. Rat was studying the map as I was talking and I just knew he figured it out. The barn and cow I had drawn pinpointed Mr. Isaacson’s dairy farm and everyone knew where Boy Scout Island was. My big “X marks the spot” was right between the two.

Way to go, Jeb Cremp, I thought to myself, why did you even draw the map in the first place?

Rat was showing the rest of the gang where the X was.

“Com’on Bulldog,” I pleaded, “we’ve been friends for a long time. Make Rat give it back to us.”

He actually thought about it for a minute, but then said, “That was a long time ago, Jeb, things have changed.”

With that they were on their bikes heading for the big woods.

“Move it, Billy, we gotta get home quick and tell Dad and Mom what happened!”

We were slowed down by our big backpacks, but I think we made the three blocks in record time. Talking like those speed readers, we told them everything.

Dad looked me straight in the eye and said, “Jeb Cremp, you tell me you aren’t making up some kind of fib.”

They must have thought Billy and I were half crazy, all excited, both of us talking at the same time, trying to make them understand.

“Honest, Dad,” I said, “we’re telling the truth and we have to get there before Rat and the gang find the money.”

He called the sheriff and was slowly telling him what had happened. When I say slow, it seemed like I could’ve poured out a whole jug of molasses in the dead of winter before he was done talking. Finally, after an eternity had gone by, he hung up the phone.

“Sheriff O’Reily will be right over.”

Soon we were piling into the squad car. Man, the first time I’d ever had a ride in one and Billy, for once, was too excited to say a word!

As we drove to the big woods, I explained where the treasure was hidden.

“Sounds like you’re talking about the old Olson homestead. Nobody’s lived at that farm since Bob Olson died in that plane crash over 25 years ago.”

Rat and the gang had that place pretty well dug up when we got there, but I guess “X didn’t mark the spot”.

The sheriff got out of his car and yelled, “Samuel Anderson, is that you?”

“Yes sir,” Rat replied, not sneering at all now.

“Sounds like you and your friends took something from Jeb that didn’t rightfully belong to you. Now I know your dad wouldn’t be very proud of you if he was still alive and your momma ain’t out to raise some thief of a boy! So, how about you and your friends sit in my backseat for awhile and think about what you did, while I talk with the Cremps and Billy and Jeb.”

You shoulda seen the looks on their faces as the four of them squished into the back of that police car. They looked just like four dogs that got scolded and slunk away with their tails tucked between their legs. Rat even had a couple of tears welling up in his eyes. I guess it’s a good thing he still had that “sweet little hanky” to use.

Sheriff O’Reily was dumbfounded by what he saw when we dug up the box of money. He’s a real good police officer and started putting together the clues.

“Boys, I reckon Bob Olson was building a bomb shelter and no one ever thought to look for it after his plane crash.

“People used to build them to be ready for an attack from an enemy country. You see, they’d stock them full of supplies so they could survive in there for weeks if they had to. They’d put in food, water, clothes, beds, medicine, gas masks, (which was that weird mask with two cans stuck on it) and even…..money.”

“I seem to recall”, the sheriff continued, “after Bob Olson’s untimely death, the property was turned over to his mother. She must be pretty near 90 by now.

“Boys, I’m right proud of you two,” Sheriff O’Reily said to Billy and me, “you’re honest, you did the right thing, and you hid that treasure real good!”

Dad squeezed my shoulder.

I felt pretty good right about then, but I couldn’t help thinking of Rat and the gang.

“What’s going to happen to Rat and the other kids?” I asked.

“Well, I think sitting in the backseat of a police car has scared them a bit, but I’ll be having a conversation with each of their parents to let them know what‘s happened. And now it’s time to take that money into town and write up a report.”

With that he opened the back door of the squad car and told the boys to ride their bikes straight home, but before they left, he had each one of them apologize for stealing that map.

“If I ever catch you stealing again, you won’t just be sitting in my squad car; you’ll be sitting behind bars in jail with the other criminals!” he roared. “Now SCRAM!!”

Wow, did they scram!

About a week later we were sitting down for supper and there was a knock on our front door. It was Sheriff O’Reily.

“Hey, there, Jeb. I’ve been over telling Bob Olson’s mother all that happened. She is so pleased with what you and Billy did that she would like to meet you and thank you personally.”

So the next day Billy and I, along with our parents, went over to meet Mrs. Olson.

She welcomed us into her home and then said, “I’m very proud to make the acquaintance of such honest boys.”

“I’d like to tell you a little about my son, Bob, if you can stay awhile.”

“Yeah, that’d be great” Billy said, as I nodded.

“Bob was a pilot in the Navy during World War II. He flew off aircraft carriers in the Pacific.” She went on with some of his adventures. It was cool!

She cried a bit when she talked about how he died doing what he loved to do. I had a lump in my throat too.

“Boys, I had no idea he had built a bomb shelter and had this kind of money hidden away. Did you know there was over $5000 in that box?”

It was then she handed Billy and me each an envelope and said, “You both deserve what’s inside.”

In the envelope I counted 20 $10 bills.

“Wow, $200 dollars? Thank you!”

“Wow, $200 dollars? Thank you!” Billy echoed.

I couldn’t believe it!

Mrs. Olson had a huge smile on her face and said, “I haven’t felt this much alive in years! Will you boys come by and visit me from time to time? I always have some cookies made and would love to have company.”

Billy and I agreed that we would be happy to.

Later that night, I was in bed and Dad and I were discussing our day.

“Well, son, do you have any big plans for all that money?”

It was then the craziest idea popped into my head. I remembered my Sunday School teacher telling us about forgiveness and how we should love our enemies. I guess right about then Rat, Squeak, Bulldog, and Thorn were the worst enemies I had.

I answered, “I’ve been thinkin’, Dad. Do you think it would be okay if I gave Rat and the others some of the money?”

“That’s a great idea, son. I’m mighty proud of you!”

The next morning I told Billy what I was going to do.

“Are you crazy, Jeb? I never heard anything so nuts!”

After I explained, he understood and even agreed to go with me to find the Jean Jacket Gang.

When we found them, Rat sneered, “What are you two doin’ here? Come to brag about your reward money?”

“No,” I answered, “actually we came over to say we don’t have any hard feelings about what happened and we were wondering if we could share some of the reward money with you.”

“Yeah, right! That’s a good one!” said Rat.

“Yeah, that’s a good one,” repeated Squeak.

“Knock it off, Squeak!”

When Billy and I handed each of them two $10 bills, their eyes just got big. I mean, real big!

Nobody said anything.

Rat just stood there silently looking at the money in his hand and then something seemed to happen inside him.

“I, I, I can’t take this, you guys. You keep it. This is your money.” And then almost as if he heard himself sounding too soft he said, “I, I, mean, keep your money! I don’t want

Torn then handed the money back, too, and Bulldog came up to me and said, “That was real nice of you, Jeb, but you keep it. Sorry I’ve been such a jerk lately. Maybe we can get together again like we used to.”

Squeak was last. He looked at Rat and then at the money and then looked back at Rat and then at the money. He looked like a yo-yo going back and forth.

Finally he said, “Ummmm, yeah, next time you guys find some hidden treasure I’ll help you with anything you need. I mean it, okay?”

Squeak then gave the money back, too.

As we walked away, I said, “How about that, Billy? I didn’t see that coming.”

After that day all six of us had something special in common and over time we all became pretty good buddies. Bulldog even started coming back to church.

As for Billy and me, well we both ended up buying the same thing. I’ll have to tell you about it next time………

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Free Online Kids Books Series – The Missing Treasure Chapter 1

The Missing Treasure - Free Online Kids Books part of our Good Books for Boys Series
Chapter 1 of The Missing Treasure Free Online Kids Book – A Good Books for Boys Series

Jebediah Cremp and his best friend Billy head to Boy Scout Island for a night of camping. However, the camping trip quickly turns into a treasure trove of adventure.

“Do you see what I do, Jeb?” Billy asked, excitedly.

Earlier that day, Billy and I had decided to spend the night at Boy Scout Island, one of our favorite places to camp. We left my house that afternoon, starting on our two hour hike through the woods. We were pretty near half way there, just past Mr. Isaacson’s dairy farm, when we saw it.

We were in the deepest and oldest part of the woods with big old oak trees towering above us, blocking out the sunshine. It was here that something caught Billy’s eye and he stopped dead in his tracks, so fast that I ran right smack dab into him! Being as how we were both a bit top heavy with our big hiking packs and all, we toppled over and there we lay on our backs like a couple of turtles, with our legs beating the air.

Back on our feet, Billy pointed out what looked like a couple old buildings that were covered in vines. Had it not been for a big old oak tree holding one of them up, it sure as anything would’ve fallen over like an old hound dog sittin’ on its hind legs.

Laying our heavy packs aside, we crept closer to the buildings. It was a boy’s dream to find an old deserted building site and explore it.

“How old do you think these are?” questioned Billy.

“Must’ve been sittin’ here a looong time,” I said, adding “look, all the windows are knocked out and the roof has big holes in it!”

We started exploring everything. It was great! Until — Billy fell through the ground! Well at least that’s what it looked like. We were just walking around the building and VOMPF, he fell into the ground up to his armpits!

“Ahhhhh, help Jeb, help me!” he yelled. He sounded just like his little brother Jake does sometimes when he gets scared.

I grabbed hold of him and pulled with all my might and out he popped. It’s a good thing I had been helping Dad cut fire wood lately, otherwise I’m not sure I woulda’ been strong enough.

We sat there a minute or two, sorta laughin’ and sorta scared. What if it had been deeper? What if it had been filled with water or even worse snakes!?

Well, it wasn’t, and when we went over to investigate, we discovered Billy had fallen through some type of cellar door that had been covered up by years of leaves, sticks, and dirt. We always carry our army shovels and pick axes on our belts, and we sure did need them this time. Let me tell you, it took awhile to clear off all that junk and bust up that old door.

Next we grabbed our flashlights and rope and for the first time in a coon’s age, well, maybe three coon’s ages, we lit up that old cellar with the bright white beams from our flashlights. Now we could see it was some sort of shelter and it looked like it was chock-full of things. Tying our rope around a big tree we let ourselves down into the shelter, making sure we were going to be able to get back out. It was cold and damp and smelled like my grandma’s cellar, but it was amazing! As our flashlights lit up the room, we could see all sorts of stuff— canned food, clothing, some type of masks with like two cans on each side. The stuff was old, but sorta brand new because it was all still in its packaging.

Way in back tucked into a corner, we found a metal box. We struggled to open it using our picks and all our might until—-SNAP! The lid popped up so suddenly we both flat fell down on top of it…kinda like when you’re playin’ tug of war with your big brother and he lets go of the rope. WUMF! You’re down! Well, when we got back on our feet we shined our flashlights down at the box and just stood there and stared! I’ll bet our faces looked the same as when we saw Johnny Simms kiss Andrea Tuttle behind the school last year. We had to rub our eyes to believe what we were seeing. There, right before our very eyes, was scads of money—about half coins and the rest packages of paper bills. It was more money than I’d ever seen in my whole life, I can tell you that!

“Wowzers, Jeb,” yelled Billy, “You think it’s real?”

There was no doubt in my mind! Already my brain was spinning—racing in circles—thinking of all the cool stuff I could buy. It was like when you open your birthday cards and the money falls out of them; although my mind was racing around things even bigger and better because there was more money in this box than in 100 birthday cards!

Then Billy asked me a question that stopped my dreamin’ and actually startled me.

“Whose do you think it is?”

Why did he have to go and ask that question? I was having so much fun dreaming and now I had to face the reality that this wasn’t our money. No, sir’ee. We had only found it. I remembered the time my older brother, Ronnie, found a wallet under the bleachers at a football game. It was full of money and plastic cards. I heard a couple of his buddies tell him to keep the money, but he knew better. He showed it to Mom and Dad and they suggested he give it to the game announcers. Turns out Mr. Jeffreys, the grocer, had lost it and was mighty grateful for having it returned.

“What are we gonna do, Billy?” I asked.

We talked about that and decided that we would just set up camp out here at the old building site for the night and head back into town come morning to tell our parents about our discovery.

The best thing to do, we decided, was to bury the box for now; so we became pirates burying our treasure. We even used a stick from our campfire that was black on the end and drew a map on a piece of fabric we found in the cellar. Pirates! With our own treasure map!

Late that night, lying by the fire, we were making up stories about who used to live here and what they were gonna’ do with all the money and stuff in the cellar. Billy made up a whopper of a story about a gang of thugs who used this as their hideout, stashin’ their thievin’ money down in the cellar and how every once in a while, late at night when nobody was awake and the moon was full, they’d come back to check on their loot. I looked up in the sky and wouldn’t you know it, YEP, a full moon! Gulp! Between you and me, it was too scary being that we were all alone. So, I had to think of something else to do.

“Maybe we should just be quiet for awhile and listen to God’s radio.”


“Dad always says that being quiet and listenin’ to nature is like listenin’ to God’s radio.”

We were quiet for a few minutes and could hear the fire cracklin’, crickets chirpin’, a bull frog croakin’, and an owl and a coyote hootin’ and howlin’ off in the distance. Billy couldn’t keep quiet very long though, which is why he was always getting his name on the board in school.

We must have drifted off to sleep because all of a sudden it was morning. We were in such a hurry to get goin’ that we skipped breakfast and packed up everything. We’d never be in such a hurry that we’d leave a fire burnin’ though, so we spread out the ashes and used up our water dousin’ them.

We left the treasure safely buried, and with the treasure map tucked safely in my shirt pocket, headed back to town.

Read Chapter 2 of The Missing Treasure – part of our Free Online Kids Books Series by clicking here.

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