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Books categorized as 'Mystery'

The Danger Box

The Danger Box by Blue Balliett
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

12 year old Zoomy is legally blind, has no friends and emotional quirks. He lives with his grandparents who give him a sense of order and safety. His main calming influence is keeping notebooks full of lists. An event threatens to upset Zoomy’s life, but also brings to him a mysterious box containing an old journal. This journal leads him to a new friendship with a girl he meets while doing research on the journal’s author.
As someone who hates change, Zoomy struggles to deal with a crime, a puzzle, a new friendship, a mysterious stranger, a devastating fire and the reappearance of his father.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Moon over Manifest

Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Recommended for: Grades 5 & up

2011 Newbery Award Winner
Abilene jumps off a train in Manifest Kansas in 1936.  For most of her 12 years, she has traveled with her father as he worked the rails.  She is lost when her father feels she needs a more settled life and sends her to Manifest, where he once lived.  Though she misses her father, she hopes to discover clues to his past life.  Abilene soon meets 2 friends and together they have a summer of “spy hunting”.  The story shifts between Abilene’s narrative in 1936 Manifest, and Manifest during World War I.  Abilene finds a box of keepsakes and also is given access to the town’s old newspaper articles.  When she begins helping old Miss Sadie, a “diviner”,  Abilene gets closer to the truth about her father and learns secrets from the past that still affect Manifest’s residents.
The author combines humor, sorrow and mystery into an enjoyable first novel.

Reviewed by Mrs. McIntire

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The Case of the Missing Family

The Case of the Missing Family by Dori Hillestad Butler
Recommended for Grades 2 to 4

The third book in “The Buddy Files” will keep the early chapter book reader riveted to the story.  Buddy was put up for adoption because the mother in his people family was sent overseas with the military.  By chance, a person from his neighborhood adopted him.  He could not keep himself from going back to his old house to investigate a moving van there.  Before he knew it, he was in with the furniture and going out of town.  If you love dog stories and mysteries this book is for you.  Those children who read to a dog this summer in our Summer Reading Program will have a special interest in Buddy’s growing talents!

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Potato Chip Puzzles

The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

Winston Breen (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen) is on the spot as a member of a team in a puzzle competition to win $50,000. for his school.  Ten schools qualify for the competition.  Eric Berlin takes us on a wild ride through the puzzle day of the competition. From the start, Winston  suspects that someone is cheating and sabotaging the other teams.  The puzzle solvers get involved in solving a mystery as well as the puzzles in their frantic race to be first and win the big prize.  Will Winston succeed?

If you read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, you’ll want to dive into this sequel and will be waiting for another!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Magic Half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Recommended for Grades 3-6

Miri comes from a family that is one in eight million.  She has two sets of twins for siblings and she is really a “middle child.”  Imagine moving into a house and finding yourself transported back 80 years to your own bedroom as it was, and having the opportunity of meeting the child who lived in “your room” or “her room” as it was!  This story is a fun time travel for Miri as she figures out if she can change history by getting back to 1935 to save the girl who used to live in her room from a horrible bullying cousin.

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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Number of comments: 2


A Book

A Book by Mordicai Gerstein
Recommended for: Pre-K – Grade 3

Cleverly illustrated and imaginatively written, A Book, will teach kids about different genres of literature.  A little girl who lives in a book searches the pages for her story after her entire household tells where they belong among the different types of literature.  She goes on a wonderful adventure through meetings with well known literary characters to find her identity.  This book will be reread many times for both the story and the illustrations!

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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Hannah’s Winter

Hannah’s Winter by Kierin Meehan
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

Twelve year old Hannah would much rather stay in Australia and start high school with her friends.  Instead her crazy, purple-haired mother is dragging Hannah off to Japan to spend the winter with family friends while she jets about on business.  The night Hannah arrives at the Maekawa’s house an unexpected package arrives.  As they explore the contents of the box, Hannah and Miki discover a scrap of paper containing a cryptic riddle addressed to the finder and written in old Japanese kanji symbols.  Hannah, Miki and Hiro (the next door neighbor boy) find themselves drawn into a mysterious quest to help save the ocean boy mentioned in the riddle.  What unfolds is a fantastical ghost story that is filled with mystery and the exotic culture of past and present Japan.

Reviewed by: Ms. Bender

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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 8

2010 Newbery Award Winner
Sixth grader Mira’s world is changing. First, her best friend Sal suddenly and inexplicably stops talking to her. Then, she finds herself becoming friends with Annemarie, a wealthy and popular girl that had never paid her much attention before. Mira gets her first “job” and has her first crush. She is figuring out her place in the world, her place at school, and her place within her family.

Then, Mira finds a mysterious note hiding in her library book. It is for her, and written by a stranger who knows a lot about Mira’s life. In fact, this person seems to know what is going to happen in the future. And even more strange and worrying, this person says he needs Mira’s help to save Sal’s life. The strange homeless man who is always on her corner, the smart but quiet bully who lives on her block, and Mira’s favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time, all play a part in unraveling the mystery at the heart of the story.

Stead deftly combines a coming-of-age novel with mystery and science fiction. Readers will be left with plenty to think about and will want to pick up A Wrinkle in Time next.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Number of comments: 1


The 100-year Old Secret

The 100-Year Old Secret by Tracy Barrett
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

Xena Holmes and her younger brother Xander recently moved to London from America.   One day, they are handed a mysterious note written in disappearing ink.   The note’s instructions lead them to a storeroom where they get locked in and have to figure a way out.   By successfully escaping they prove their sleuthing skills and get to meet members of the SPFD (Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives).   Xena & Xander are told that they are descendants of none other than Sherlock Holmes, and are given his book of unsolved cases.
Xena and Xander immediately set out to solve the first case by  searching for a famous painting which has been missing for 100 years.
An exciting and quick-paced whodunit.
1st in the series of The Sherlock Files

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Out of Patience

Out of Patience byBrian Meehl
Recommended for: Grades 5 -7

Jake Waters longs to leave his hometown of Patience, Kansas.  The town is dying a slow death, being kept in existence only by Knight’s Soil & Fertilizer, the main business in Patience.
Patience is said to be under a curse, and to make matters worse for Jake, his father wants to open a museum of toilet history. Jake and his dad Jim are descendents of the town’s founder, Jeremiah Water, who brought the first flush toilet to Patience in 1876.
Jake struggles between his desire to get out of Patience and his love for his father.  He doesn’t want to believe in the curse, but strange events cause him to fear for what might happen to the town and its residents. Jake decides that it is time to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the town’s treasured belongings, missing since the day Jeremiah Waters was knocked out by bandits.
Out of Patience includes the history of Patience, but there is also mystery, danger, friendship, revenge, betrayal and most of all, humor.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Number of comments: none