Sugar Creek Gang

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Sugar Creek Gang
Sugar creek gang.png
Sugar Creek Gang: The Swamp Robber
Author Paul Hutchens
Cover artist Don Stewart
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Moody Press
Published 1940
Media type Print

Sugar Creek Gang is a series of 36 Christian themed children's literature books written by Paul Hutchens.[1] 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.[1][2] The first book The Sugar Creek Gang was published in 1940 and the final installment, The Brown Box Mystery, appeared in 1970.[3] 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."[4] 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.[5][6]

Series description[edit]

According to Moody Publishing, the original series sold over three million print copies.[1] The books are available in DVD,CD and audio versions, and were broadcast as radio dramatizations.[2][7]

In 2004, the stories were made into a series of movies, directed by Joy Chapman and Owen Smith.[1]

The Gang[edit]

"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[edit]

"New Sugar Creek Gang" is a six book series written by Pauline Hutchens Wilson,[5][6] daughter of the original author, and Sandy Dengler. The "new gang" consists of five members: Bits, Tiny, Les, Lynn, and Mike.

Original series bibliography[edit]

# 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


  1. ^ a b c d Brett, Jennifer (14 November 2004). "Sunny films bring young talent to light", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. JJ1.
  2. ^ a b Young, Hal; Melanie Young (2010). "Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys". Google books. Great Waters Press. p. 43. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Sugar Creek Gang: The Books". Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Sugar Creek Books Help Raise Young America". Google News Archive. Spartanburg Herald-Journal. November 29, 1957. p. 8. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Wilson, Pauline Hutchens [WorldCat Identities]". WorldCat. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Juvenile Series and Sequels: Title: New Sugar Creek Gang, The - MCPL". Mid-Continent Public Library. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  7. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]