Book Review

The Wilder Good Adventure Series

by S. J. Dahlstrom
(Paul Dry Books)

Review by Doris Booth, Authorlink®

Where can a young person go for a more meaningful life experience than TikTok videos or PlayStation war games—a place instead where one can dream and learn about their own personal journey through life?

A hidden series of older books called Wilder Good Adventures (Paul Dry Books) reminds kids as well as adults that great value remains in the quiet pages of a well-written book.

The Wilder series by Texas author S.J. Dahlstrom is a remarkable collection of work written for 12-15-year-old boys, but the stories are equally as touching to girls and people of all ages.

The series begins when Wilder is a 12-year-old boy growing up with his parents and little sister, Molly, in a small Colorado town. He is trying his best to learn what it means to become an adult in a grown-up world.

Wilder goes on various adventures into the wilderness with family or friends. In each book he encounters unforeseen challenges that teach him more about himself, his strengths, and his values. In Wilder and Sunny (book 3) for example, he and his girlfriend learn what it is like to deal with a real life and death situation. When there is no one to turn to, they must rely on their own decisions and skills to save their friend’s life.

In book #7, Cow Boyhood, Wilder goes on a two-day cattle drive with his aging hero and grandfather, Papa, and Papa’s longtime friend, Red Guffey. The big ranch country is full of livestock and wild animals and Wilder is forced to recognize that his own instincts and abilities may have become greater than those of his heroes.  The scenes of Papa explaining his view of death to his grandson, or the burial of Papa’s beloved dog, Coffee, are unforgettable.

Learning the joys and pains of real life from nature and from older adults, Wilder becomes the man he dreams of being.

Every parent concerned about teaching their children self-assuredness and bravery would do well to introduce their kid to the series.

Dahlgren’s stories are tender-hearted, yet full of meaningful lessons in how to grow in self-confidence and self-worth without arrogance, hostility or greed.

Like the famous Harry Potter tales, Dahlstrom encourages kids to talk about things, that friendship is important, to believe in yourself and face your fears and never give up. But there is a big difference. The Potter series is told in a fantasy world. Dahlstrom stories are told in the real world.

There are seven books in the series. See them at

S. J. Dahlstrom, author of the Wilder Good Adventuire seriesAbout the author:

S. J. Dahlstrom lives and writes in West Texas. He has numerous magazine credits for his writing and photography. “The Adventures of Wilder Good” is his first series. His writing draws on his experiences as a cowboy, husband, father, and founder of a boys’ ranch.