Mystery
Review: Shakespeare’s Secret
by Elise Broach I wish this book existed when I was in fifth grade.  I know what it’s like to be Hero Netherfield, the weird new kid who is so easy to tease.  This move will be different for Hero, though.  She befriends the woman who lives next door and finds out that her family’s new house holds a big secret.  The secret might even be connected to the true identity of William Shakespeare! This is a fun puzzle to try to solve along with Hero. If you like this, you might like: The Westing Game Chasing Vermeer...
Framed!
by Frank Cottrell Boyce Nothing happens in the town of Manod.  In fact, it’s so boring, the town newspaper only comes out once a month. Dylan Hughes keeps the log book for his family’s petrol (gas) business, the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel, but things are about to change for him and his family. Mysterious white vans have begun passing the Oasis on their way to the abandoned slate quarry on the mountain, and Dylan wants to know what’s going on. This book could be a bit challenging to American readers because of British terminology and some Welsh words, but it’s...
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Crandall’s Castle
by Betty Ren Wright Everything is changing for Charli this summer. First, her mom just married her gym teacher, and that’s not turning out as well as Charli had thought it would. Then, her aunt and uncle take in Sophia, a snooty orphan who can tell when something bad is about to happen. Even Charli can tell something bad is going to happen when Uncle Will announces he is going to turn the town’s haunted mansion into a bed and breakfast. Can Charli and Sophia get over their dislike for each other long enough to stop terrible things from happening?...
Chasing Vermeer
After three people receive mysterious letters and a famous painting is stolen, sixth-graders Calder and Petra work together to solve the crime and save the painting. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet is aimed to younger readers, but don’t let the young characters and big print fool you. It’s a fun puzzle to solve, especially if you’re interested in mysteries, codes, and art. If your younger brother or sister leaves it lying around, sneak it away for a few hours. The illustrations were done by Brett Helquist, who also does the illustrations for the Lemony Snicket books. Scholastic page about Chasing...
The Body of Christopher Creed
When school weirdo Christopher Creed disappears without a trace, he leaves behind a note mentioning several students by name. Privileged, happy Torey Adams is on the list. As Torey tries to figure out why Creed mentioned him and where Creed disappeared to, he starts to see a side of life he never imagined existed. He starts to notice the hypocrisy of his friends and wonder why he didn’t treat Creed better. Author Carol Plum-Ucci does a very good job capturing a teenage boy’s thoughts in her first novel. Although they’re probably going to make a movie out of this one,...
The Westing Game
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a fun puzzle of a book about eight heirs (and a mistake) trying to solve the mystery of a man’s death so they can inherit his millions. The heirs, who live in the same apartment building, are paired up and given bits of clues to try to find out who killed Sam Westing. Meanwhile, strange messages are left on the building’s impromptu message board, and someone appears to be trying to blow the heirs up. Who will solve the mystery? Who killed Sam Westing? Although this is a book for younger readers (age...
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