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This mystery by Marc Thil is written for young French readers from 8-12 years old. While that is his target audience, Vacances Dan tourmante is, like his other books, ideal for students of any age studying French. Firstly, the stories are well written and are exciting with many plot twists and are not at all predictable. They are not written, as are so many readers designed for non-native learners, with the idea of cramming one with vocabulary or illustrating grammatical points. That makes them flow smoothly and are read to be enjoyed. The author uses good standard colloquial French without employing slang terms and other usages which vary widely from region to region in a global language such as French. Also, even unfamiliar words or idioms can usually be readily deciphered from context. There is also a great deal of natural spoken dialogue without resorting to "Street French" which, in my opinion, is of little value, albeit perhaps interesting, to the vast majority of non-native speakers...Not to mention many pitfalls in its use by the unwary. Any student from advanced beginner on up can profit greatly from reading Marc Thil's works. I am a very advanced learner with many years of study of French as well as other languages and I enjoy them immensely. They are a very enjoyable way to keep in practice and are invaluable for those such as myself who are rarely exposed to a native French environment.
This is a very good book for our french class. I was reading this series of books myself, when our french instructor noticed them. He picked the book up and had me order several for the entire class. This book is now the third in the series by Marc Thil that our class has read. We are an intermediate level class. These books are written at about the 12 year old leval, so they are perfect for us. Everyone in class has said that they have learned more from these books than all the other french books that we have used. Ceci est un très bon livre pour notre classe française. Je lisais cette série de livres moi-même, quand notre instructeur français les a remarqués. Il prit le livre et me fit commander plusieurs pour toute la classe. Ce livre est maintenant le troisième de la série par Marc Thil que notre classe a lu. Nous sommes une classe de niveau intermédiaire. Ces livres sont écrits au sujet de l'ancien leval de 12 ans, donc ils sont parfaits pour nous. Tout le monde dans la classe a dit qu'ils ont appris plus de ces livres que tous les autres livres français que nous avons utilisés.
This is the fourth Marc Thil book I’ve read, and for an English student of French at my level (intermediate) his books are a joy to read. I found this one very well plotted out, exciting, and full of action. Thil does tend to dispense with his villains and wind things down a little too quickly for me. But this is a small point.
Even though this book, and his others, are for students ages 8 to 11, it held my interest. At times I found myself engrossed in the story, forgetting that it was in French, not in English.
(SPOILER) One thing really bothered me. What happened to the dog? After creating this lovable, helpful dog, he just disappears from the story. He no longer has a home because his master has been arrested. Why not have Marion bring him back home and adopt him? It made me sad that the dog was so disposable.
A brother, sister, and cousin, faced with the prospect of a boring summer, embark on a three day camping trip in search of buried "treasure." They are haunted by a mysterious visitor who sneaks about their encampment at night with unknown yet no doubt foul intent. What kind of vermin would hurt such innocent children, or is this visitor merely a nocturnal creature of the woods? Undaunted and by day, the three children proceed to uncover the entrance to an abandoned building and inside find a (spoiler) which they hide. Who attempts to steal this plunder right from under their sleeping bags? What is the dark creature who surreptitiously tries to undermine the antagonist? Were the children trespassing? Who will bail them out? What do the police do? Summer vacation will never be the same after reading, Vacances Dans La Tourmente. A story written for young readers, but nevertheless good reading even for adults trying to brush up on their French.
My French reading class loved this book, as well as other books written by Marc Thil. It is obvious that the author is also an educator. Our class is made up of seniors, but we enjoy his books as much as the young people for whom he is writing.
This book is intended for native readers/speakers of lower elementary ages. I was considering it for use in my high school French classes, but it would be very difficult for lower level learners. Too much vocabulary, too many unfamiliar verb tenses. It is an entertaining read and I may be able to adapt it for my students, if greatly simplified.