Sugar Creek Gang
Sugar Creek Gang: The Swamp Robber
|Cover artist||Don Stewart|
Sugar Creek Gang is a series of 36 Christian themed children's literature books written by Paul Hutchens. The original series is set near Thorntown, Indiana and named for the nearby Sugar Creek, based upon the formative years of Paul and his six brothers, and chronicles adventure situations told from a faith-based didactic perspective. The first book The Sugar Creek Gang was published in 1940 and the final installment, The Brown Box Mystery, appeared in 1970. During the 1950s, Hutchens received oral and written feedback from his readers "that they practically grew up on Sugar Creek books as their main reading diet during juvenile days." In 2001, Pauline Hutchens Wilson took over her father's books with the release of The Case of the Red Hot Possum as the first book in "The New Sugar Creek Gang" series.
In 2004, the stories were made into a series of movies, directed by Joy Chapman and Owen Smith.
"The Sugar Creek Gang" consists of six boys, and later an additional member was introduced. All the characters are Christians. The group listing is:
- Bill Collins is the narrator of the series. He has red hair and freckles, and is 10 years of age in the first book. Bill is one of two members of the gang to have no nickname. His best friend is Poetry, and he is a single child at first, but later has a little sister named Charlotte Ann. His father, (Theodore Collins) is a farmer, but Bill wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He is a very good Christian.
- Poetry (Leslie Thompson)
- Poetry is sometimes called "the barrel-shaped member of the gang" because he is very chubby. He always boasts about his detective abilities, and usually has a tent pitched in his backyard. His nickname is "Poetry", because he has memorized so many poems, he can quote one for most any situation.
- Dragonfly (Roy Gilbert)
- Dragonfly is the skinniest and most allergic member of the gang. He usually sees things that are not there at all, or are there before the rest of the gang does. He is nicknamed "Dragonfly" because dragonflies have big eyes. He is also superstitious, probably because his mother is.
- Little Jim (Jim Foote)
- Little Jim is the youngest member of the gang, and he carries around a walking stick that he carved to look like a candy cane. He is a very good Christian, and also an excellent piano player.
- Circus (Dan Browne)
- Circus has a beautiful singing voice, and has five sisters! He is nicknamed "Circus" because he has amazing athletic abilities, and can't resist climbing a tree or doing a cartwheel. His dad used to drink and was not a Christian, but eventually became one and changed his ways early in the series.
- Big Jim
- Big Jim is the leader of the gang, and is several years older than the rest of the gang. He grew up in another town, where he was in the Boy Scouts. He uses the skills he learned as a Scout to lead the gang well.
- Tom Till is the newest member of the gang and the second member (after Bill) to have no nickname. He also looks a lot like Bill (for example, he also has red hair). He has a mean brother named Bob, and also a very mean father (John Till), and a very sweet mother. (He used to be in a mean gang of boys with his brother Bob, but later switched sides).
- Bob Till is Tom's mean older brother. He is not a Christian but Tom and the gang put out quite an effort to reach him. He often causes trouble for the gang.
New Sugar Creek Gang
"New Sugar Creek Gang" is a six book series written by Pauline Hutchens Wilson, daughter of the original author, and Sandy Dengler. The "new gang" consists of five members: Bits, Tiny, Les, Lynn, and Mike.
Original series bibliography
|#||Title||Original Title||First Published||Notes|
|1||The Swamp Robber||The Sugar Creek Gang||1940|
|2||The Killer Bear||We Killed A Bear||1940|
|3||The Winter Rescue||Further Adventures of the Sugar Creek Gang||1940|
|4||The Lost Campers||The Sugar Creek Gang Goes Camping||1941|
|5||The Chicago Adventure||The Sugar Creek Gang in Chicago||1941|
|6||The Secret Hideout||The Sugar Creek Gang in School||1942|
|7||The Mystery Cave||Mystery at Sugar Creek||1943|
|8||The Palm Tree Manhunt||The Sugar Creek Gang Flies to Cuba, On Palm Tree Island||1944|
|9||One Stormy Day||One Stormy Day at Sugar Creek||1946|
|10||The Mystery Thief||The New Sugar Creek Mystery||1946|
|11||Teacher Trouble||Shenanigans at Sugar Creek||1947|
|12||Screams in the Night||The Sugar Creek Gang Goes North||1947|
|13||The Indian Cemetery||Adventure in an Indian Cemetery||1947|
|14||The Treasure Hunt||The Sugar Creek Gang Digs for Treasure||1948|
|15||The Thousand Dollar Fish||North Woods Manhunt||1948|
|16||The Haunted House||The Haunted House at Sugar Creek||1949|
|17||Lost in the Blizzard||Lost in a Sugar Creek Blizzard||1950|
|18||On the Mexican Border||The Sugar Creek Gang on the Mexican Border||1950|
|19||The Green Tent Mystery||The Green Tent Mystery at Sugar Creek||1950|
|20||The Bull Fighter||10,000 Minutes at Sugar Creek||1952|
|21||The Trapline Thief||Trap Line Thief at Sugar Creek||1953|
|22||The Blue Cow||Blue Cow at Sugar Creek||1953|
|23||The Watermelon Mystery||Watermelon Mystery at Sugar Creek||1955|
|24||The Tree House Mystery||Old Stranger's Secret at Sugar Creek||1957|
|25||The Timber Wolf||The Sugar Creek Gang at Snow Goose Lodge||1957|
|26||Western Adventure||Sugar Creek Gang Goes Western||1957|
|27||The Killer Cat||We Killed a Wildcat at Sugar Creek||1958|
|28||Locked in the Attic||Down a Sugar Creek Chimney||1959|
|29||The Colorado Kidnapping||Wild Horse Canyon Mystery||1959|
|30||The Runaway Rescue||Runaway Rescue at Sugar Creek||1960|
|31||The Cemetery Vandals||The Worm Turns at Sugar Creek||1961|
|32||The Battle of the Bees||Sleeping Beauty at Sugar Creek||1962|
|33||The Case of the Missing Calf||1964|
|34||The Ghost Dog||Howling Dog in the Sugar Creek Swamp||1968|
|35||The White Boat Rescue||White Boat Rescue at Sugar Creek||1969|
|36||The Brown Box Mystery||1970|
- Brett, Jennifer (14 November 2004). "Sunny films bring young talent to light", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. JJ1.
- Young, Hal; Melanie Young (2010). "Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys". Google books. Great Waters Press. p. 43. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "The Sugar Creek Gang: The Books". Retrieved 6 July 2010.
- "Sugar Creek Books Help Raise Young America". Google News Archive. Spartanburg Herald-Journal. November 29, 1957. p. 8. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Wilson, Pauline Hutchens [WorldCat Identities]". WorldCat. worldcat.org. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Juvenile Series and Sequels: Title: New Sugar Creek Gang, The - MCPL". Mid-Continent Public Library. mcpl.lib.mo.us. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Cohen, Charles Lloyd; Paul S. Boyer (2008). "Religion and the culture of print in modern America". Google books. University of Wisconsin Press. Retrieved 7 July 2010.