Under the Grass is the first book in a series of Christian mysteries called the Metrico Mesh for middle school age kids. This series "blends science, creative problem-solving, and adventure. Join Jeff and Jacquie Métrico as they explore their surroundings." In Under the Grass, Jeff Metrico goes exploring with a friend after local flooding in his rural area. What they find is astounding and leads to more and more questions, including conversations with a friend's grandfather about the book of Job from the Old Testament. It is hardly all an academic setting, however, as Jeff and his friend find actual danger and heroism emerges when least expected.
I found this book very interesting, easy to follow, and very good at keeping the reader's interest. In the back of the book there is a single page that lists topics brought up in the book for further research as desired. Also included is a suggestion to the reader to explore what he thinks Jeff did the next morning when he woke up. Book 3 in the series is based upon that question, and the reader can compare his thoughts to the author's thoughts with that book. There were small black and white photos interspersed, but the quality was less than desirable and they were somewhat blurry. Although that may have been their intent I found them somewhat irksome.
I would definitely recommend this book for upper elementary and middle school age children. I'm guessing the vocabulary would be about fifth grade level. Book 2 follows Jeff's sister, Jacquie, through an adventure, so the series is not a "boy's series" and there is nothing inherently boyish about Under the Grass other than that it is two boys on the adventure. The entire book was very wholesome and innocent, yet adventurous, just as children this age should be.
Product review by Nancy Wagner, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2006