SPIDER KANE AND THE MYSTERY UNDER THE MAY-APPLE

The sinister Emperor Moth has captured Mimi, a lovely butterfly with a past. Meanwhile, Leon Leafwing, in love with Mimi and desperate to rescue her, enlists the aid of Spider Kane, the Sherlock Holmes of the bug world, who leads a perilous rescue mission to the Emperor's rotting palace deep in the Dark Swamp. The kidnapping and rescue all prove to be an elaborate charade, designed to test Leon's mettle and determine whether he's brave and dependable enough to join the Order of the MOTH, an elite band devoted to solving mysteries and fighting injustice. Using skills honed in her realistic novels (Last One Home, 1987), Osborne differentiates a sizable cast of creepy-crawly characters and will keep readers guessing; the clothed creatures in Chess's numerous b&w illustrations have her amusing trademark moon faces with prominent noses and round white eyes. A quality book that may need booktalking to find its audience—many children young enough to like a story in which all the characters are bugs will not be able to read it. Adults who read the book aloud will be rewarded with a novel sendup of the Genteel Amateur Sleuth genre. A sequel is in the works. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-80855-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1992

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THE FENWAY FOUL-UP

BALLPARK MYSTERIES, #1

From the Ballpark Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery. Mike and Kate have tickets to a Red Sox game and an all-access pass to the park, courtesy of Kate's mom, a sportswriter. The pass comes in handy when it's reported that star player Big D's lucky bat has been stolen, as it allows them to help find the thief. Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading, even when the actual mystery of the missing bat falls a little flat. Writing mysteries for very young readers is a challenge—the puzzle has to be easy enough to solve while sustaining readers' interest. This slight adventure is more baseball-park travel pamphlet than mystery, a vehicle for providing interesting details about one of the hallowed halls of baseball. Not a homerun, but certainly a double for the young enthusiast. On deck? The Pinstripe Ghost, also out on Feb. 22, 2011. (historical notes) (Mystery. 6-9)

 

 

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-86703-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series.

SOFIA VALDEZ AND THE VANISHING VOTE

From the Questioneers series

The Questioneers are back for a new early chapter book, this one featuring Sofia Valdez, of Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (2019) fame.

Sofia and her friends from Miss Greer’s second grade class are back for another adventure. This time around, an election to select the new class pet offers lots of what Miss Greer likes to call Learning Experiences. Young civic activist Sofia is put in charge of managing the election, which pits candidates backed by two of her best friends against one another. Meanwhile, her cousin Marisella grapples with a pet problem of her own. Between friends and family, the election pulls Sofia in all directions, and she realizes that overseeing a fair election that runs smoothly proves to be a real challenge. Fortunately, she has sage advice from Abuelo and help from the local library to guide her. The short chapters and ample illustrations make for an accessible and entertaining early chapter book, full of fun and, yes, learning experiences. Extensive backmatter includes information on the importance of a free press, the true historical events behind Abuelo’s stories, and more information on how the voting process in the United States works. Sofia and her family have brown skin and are of Mexican heritage; her friends are diverse; and Miss Greer presents White. Marisella uses a wheelchair.

Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4350-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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