Book 4: Palisades Escapades

Large Mississippi Palisades RockSeven-year-old Mallory learns that taking a nine-pound rock from a public park is a lot different from collecting a few pebbles or stones. His twin sister, Melody, doesn’t think it’s such a big deal, but apparently everyone else does. Mallory and his Dad travel back to the Indiana Dunes both to follow up with the local police sergeant on the lost item that Mallory found and also to fulfill Mallory’s hour of public service to settle his debt for removing the rock from the park. 

Checking out a bat cave isn’t such a good idea if your dog is along. Humans may not hear the bats squealing, but dogs sure do. Rufus takes off in the opposite direction. Mallory is off to the rescue, except that Mallory himself needs rescuing as he tumbles into a sinkhole.

The Palisades trail gets steeper and steeper. Suddenly, there it is. The great Mississippi River. “How wide is the river?” Melody wants to know, reluctant to leave the magnificent view. She and her brother get a lesson on estimating distances, based on comparing it with things you already know, such as car lengths and soccer fields.

We’re in the process of updating each book’s topic reference tables. These tables show the breadth of each book’s content, identified by chapter. Subjects and topics of the middle column appear in  bold, followed by abbreviated versions of their Knowledge Gateway(s) in parentheses. You can use this information to select books for your children if you decide to take the BioFables Challenge. Follow the links for further investigation. Child-friendly sites appear in orange.


Helpful Hints Mississippi Palisades State Park (Earth)
Chapter 1
Unfinished Business
Removing natural objects; Returning lost items; Community service (Social); Wind, dunes movement (Earth)
Chapter 2
Community Service
Community service (Social); Embedded fossils in rock; Glaciers; Lake Michigan; Great Lakes; Inland Sea (Earth); Petrified sea creatures (Biology); Drawing (Arts); Addition methods (Math) Glaciers
Chapter 3
A Rock-Solid Contract
Agatha Christie; Sherlock Holmes (Language); Community service; Legal contract (Social); Human relationships; Giving back (Values); Dinosaurs (Biology); Software engineering (Work) Agatha Christie
Chapter 4
Arriving at the Mississippi Palisades
Mississippi Palisades State Park (Earth); Exercise; Eating habits; Games (Health); FirefliesCicadas and crickets; Eye-ear coordination (Biology); Research (Work)
Chapter 5
A Morning’s Hike
Hiking; Breakfast; Snacks; Drinking water; Getting wind knocked out of you (Health); Map reading; Hike planning (Life Skills);  Dog hearing (Biology); Sentinel Trail; Sinkholes (Earth); Disobedience (Values) Hearing ranges
Chapter 6
A Spectacular View
Mississippi River (Earth); Native Americans (History); Division; Relating different sizes (Math); Cicadas emerging from shells (Biology) Mississippi River Facts
Chapter 7
The Best Laid Plans
Resilience, adaptability (Life Skills); Photography; Singing (Arts); Symbols (Math); Mississippi River facts; Natural border (Earth); Word derivations (Language); Native Americans; Explorers Joliet and Marquette (History)
Chapter 8
More Escapades
Mark Twain (Arts); Swimming ability (Life Skills); Birds, Goldfinch (Biology); Need for recognition (Values); Word derivation (Language); Cliff formation (Earth)
Chapter 9
On the Way Home
Public behavior (Social); Relieving muscle aches (Biology, Health); Extremophile ability (Biology)
Unfinished Business Now Finished; Next Adventure Compassion (Values)