A few quirky mysteries for you

Welcome to March!! This month is all about mysteries and crime solving, no matter how small or big!! The young sleuths and detectives featured this month have a knack for finding themselves in odd predicaments with a trail of clues leading to one huge mystery waiting to be unravelled. So dive straight into this post and see if you can guess what happened before our young heroes!!

boy in blue t-shirt and jeans looking up as papers flying around him. The Map Trap in red letter below. Andrew Clements at bottom with blue background.
A funny story

Title: The map trap

Author: Andrew Clements

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Antheum Books for Young Readers; NY, 2014

What this book is about: Someone has stolen Alton’s secret maps! No, not treasure maps or anything…it’s much worse. Because these maps could put Alton into a world of trouble. From a young age Alton has loved collecting maps, and now he also draws them. The thing is…the stolen maps are his secret ones!!  Like the map about which cafeteria foods make kids race to the restrooms. Or the map that shows what the regions inside a certain teacher’s brain might look like. Clearly, Alton needs to get his maps back. But when he starts getting notes from ‘mapnapper’ telling him what he must do if he ever wants to see them again, it gives the phrase ‘uncharted territory’ a whole new meaning. 

My review: I loved this book!! If Alton and I were to meet in real life I’d hug him. A very funny and entertaining read!!! Your typical middle grade story with all the drama and adventure that happens at that stage in life for kids. An awesome cast of characters, even the teachers. Clements is truly a master in this trending genre!! 

My rating: 5 ⭐

The Friendship Riddle in red letter on top boy and girl looking at note book inside room. bookshleves around them. light from lamp and windows behind.
An engaging read

Title: The Friendship Riddle

Author: Megan Frazer Blakemore

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Bloomsbury; NY, 2015

What this book is about: Ruth Mudd O’Flaherty is having trouble settling into middle school. Her best friend, Charlotte, has been hanging out with a new group, and Ruth has decided she’s better off reading her favourite books than trying to make friends. Roaming the stacks of her town’s library is enough for Ruth. Until she finds a note in an old book…and in that note is a tantalising riddle, one that could lead her on the quest of a lifetime. Ruth is determined to solve the riddle alone, but as she discovers more clues, she must admit she needs help – the kind that usually comes from friends. Coco and Lena, two kids in her class, could be an option, but allowing them in will require courage Ruth isn’t sure she has. 

My review: A lovely story of friendship and middle school!! What I loved the most other than the library references and Dewey numbers casually thrown in, was the hunt for the clues and the unlikely finds that Ruth makes. The school scenes with the drama of spelling bees were also a great addition to the storyline in this read. A great contemporary mystery novel for the modern day tween!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

The Goldfish Boy big blue letters on side of house. o in boy looks like window with silhouette of boy inside. night sky above roof. Lisa Thompson on top.
An interesting story

Title: The Goldfish Boy

Author: Lisa Thompson

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Scholastic Press; NY, 2017

What this book is about: Matthew Corbin hasn’t been to school in weeks. He refuses to leave the safety of his bedroom. He watches from his bedroom window as life goes on without him. Matthew’s hopes for solitude are shattered when a young child staying next door goes missing.  Suddenly the neighbourhood is swarming with police and reporters – and everyone is concerned with what Matthew might have seen from his window. He might just hold the key to solving the mystery before it’s too late. In this riveting debut, a boy struggling with OCD is uniquely qualified to solve a startling crime. 

My review: An amazing story!! I’d never read a more detailed novel depicting OCD and all that follows with it. For someone so young to develop it is quite a new thing for me to comprehend and get my head around because I always thought OCD affected adults. I liked how Lisa developed Matthew’s character as the mystery deepened and brought into play the fledgling  friendship he’d formed with neighbours Melody and Jake. This is a really great debut novel!! I loved the whole mystery surrounding this read as I couldn’t figure it out until the end!! Great read!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: This title was nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award in 2019 and the  Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade and Children’s in 2017.

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