A couple of years ago, the Distributed Proofreaders project released a Project Gutenberg eBook of The Safety First Club and the Flood, using images from our Digital Library. That book was the middle part of a trilogy of early 20th-century juvenile novels by William Theophilus Nichols, and since that time, we have tracked down and digitized the other two volumes. The debut volume, called simply The Safety First Club, has now joined its sequel as a free online eBook. The final book is coming soon.
In this first novel, Sam Parker, the leader of a club of high-school age boys devotes himself to the cause of “safety first” after a potentially fatal hunting accident. He tries to apply this philosophy (with varying degrees of success) to his rivalry with fellow student Tom Orkney, a series of mysterious acts of vandalism, and a dangerous forest expedition during a blizzard.
Like its sequel, the book is fairly transparent in its efforts to teach positive lessons to young readers, but it also contains enough character and incident to avoid falling into the blandest category of didactic literature.
If you want to try the whole book for yourself, you can read it online (or download it in popular eBook formats) through Project Gutenberg.
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