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Books categorized as 'Mystery'

Murder is Bad Manners

murder is bad manners cover imageMurder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
Recommended for: Grades 5-7

Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are best friends and students at a British boarding school in the 1930s. They love reading mysteries and dream of becoming detectives themselves. When Hazel finds a dead body in the school gym, their dream comes true. But as their hunt for the murderer continues, Hazel is not sure she has what it takes to solve deadly mysteries or put up with her bossy friend Daisy. This is a cozy British mystery that also touches upon feelings of being an outsider (Hazel comes to the school from Hong Kong and deals with a certain amount of racism from her schoolmates) and the complexity of friendship. I couldn’t put it down both because I wanted to see “whodunnit,” and I wanted to see how Hazel would stand up to Daisy. Hopefully, more Wells & Wong mysteries will be coming soon!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Year We Sailed the Sun

the year we sailed the sun coverThe Year We Sailed the Sun by Theresa Nelson
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

The year is 1912 and Julia Delaney is being sent to The House of Mercy orphanage with her sister Mary.  Their brother Bill swears to the girls that he’ll come for them soon, but trouble with the local gang is slowing him down.  The story moves easily between Julia’s struggle to keep the family together and the web of corruption that spreads over the whole city because of Mr. Egan and his Rats.  Fans of historical fiction will love this one.

Reviewed by: Mrs. White

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The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

lost treasure of tuckernuck coverThe Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck by Emily Fairlie
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

Marie Tutweiler, founder of Tuckernuck Hall, issued a treasure hunt challenge to her students. This was 80 years before Laurie’s parents insisted that she attend the school as they had. Laurie wants nothing to do with the Tuckernuck Cluckers and their embarrassing chicken hats. Disappointed in her classroom assignment as Gerbil Monitor, she is partnered with Bud Wallace, a smart but unpopular student. By complete chance, they find a clue to the Treasure. Both afraid that the other might claim the treasure for their own, they agree to work together. All the clues they unearth are difficult, and to avoid suspicion, Bud and Laurie each end up in extra-curricular activities they never would have chosen on their own.
Hilarious situations abound as Laurie & Bud race to find the “treasure beyond bounds!” before the school is forced to shut down to make way for a new development.
Lots of humor and action make this a fun read.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Fenway Foul-Up

Fenway foul up coverThe Fenway Foul-Up by David A. Kelly
Recommended for: Grades 1 – 3

Cousins Mike and Kate are huge baseball fans.  Luckily for them, Kate’s mom is a sport reporter, and they get to travel the country with her, attending games and visiting ballparks.  When they go to Fenway Park to watch batting practice before a big game, they get caught up in a mystery about star player Big D’s missing bat.  Can Mike and Kate help find his bat before the Red Sox start a losing streak?
This is the first title in the Ballpark Mysteries series.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Doll Bones

doll bones coverDoll Bones by Holly Black
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Zach, Alice & Poppy are long-time friends. Nearly every day they have engaged in imaginative adventure play, but now they are in Middle school.  Zach is being pressured by his Dad to stop playing and interact more with his other friends. Poppy is desperate that they all remain friends. She comes up with a new quest involving the ghost of a murdered girl whose “bones” reside in the Great Queen. They have always been intrigued by the Great Queen – a china doll locked in an old display cabinet at Poppy’s house.
They reluctantly agree to the quest, and set out in the middle of the night taking the Great Queen with them. Almost from the start, things don’t go as planned and creepy events take place. Though disagreements and mistrust soon threaten to end the quest, the three learn a lot about themselves and friendship in the process.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case

The Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case coverThe Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case by Alexander McCall Smith
Recommended for: Grades 2 – 5

Alexander McCall Smith  introduces Precious Ramotswe, heroine of his popular adult series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, as a young girl.  Precious already seems to possess some of the attributes of a good detective. A mystery presents itself at the school she attends.  Instead of jumping to conclusions, as some of her classmates do, Precious works her way to a  solution following evidence.  In this story, friendship overcomes suspicion.
Sequel: The Mystery of Meerkat Hill

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Trouble With Chickens

the trouble with chickensThe Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Recommended for: Grades 2 – 4

Retired search and rescue dog J.J. Tully is called to action when the barnyard’s Chicken Mom reports 2 of her little chicks MISSING! Offered a cheeseburger as reward, he accepts the job. Sprinkled with unusual names (Vince the Funnel), fancy vocabulary (rendezvous), fabulous illustrations  by Kevin Cornell, and changing narrators, this playful mystery provides suspense and fun for young readers.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Hamster and Cheese

hamster and cheese cover image Hamster and Cheese by Colleen A.F. Venable and Stephanie Yue
Recommended for: Grades 2-5

First in the Guinea PIg, Pet Shop Private Eye series, Hamster and Cheese tells the story of a reluctant detective and her irrepressible (and self-appointed) sidekick who are on a quest for a missing sandwich. Funny characters (including Mr. Venezi, the befuddled pet shop owner) and detailed drawings make this a great read. Includes fun facts about animals at the end of each story.

Reviewed by: Ms. GS

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The Sixty-eight Rooms

The Sixty-eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

Friends Ruthie & Jack go on a school field trip to the Chicago Art Institute. The highpoint for both are the Thorne Rooms – 68 perfectly detailed miniature rooms representing different times and places.  Something magical happens sending Ruthie & Jack on an exciting adventure and trying to solve mysteries both historical and modern.
If you ever go to Chicago, visit the Thorne Rooms. They are amazing!

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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My Life As A Book

My Life As A Book by Janet Tashjian
Recommended for: Grades 6 and up

All Derek wants is to spend the summer lounging around with his dog and launching avocado grenades at his best friend.  It looks like what he’ll get is a lot of assigned reading and some enforced play dates with the class goody-two-shoes, but things get lively when he finds an old newspaper article in the attic.  This book has just the right combination of intrigue, silly antics and hilarious stick figure doodles.  A perfect summer read.

Reviewed by: Mrs. White

 

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