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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

syndetics-lcI listened to The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke on CD and I think Simon Jones does a really good job reading it.  This is a tale of two runaway brothers who find a home with the “Thief Lord” of Venice, and it turns into an adventure beyond their wildest dreams.  Between the author choosing every word just perfectly and Simon Jones having a different voice for each character, I felt like I was in the middle of the story.  Chase scenes, surprises, mystery, villains, fantasy…this story has it all so check it out!

By MPPL on January 27, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

The London Eye Mystery In The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd, Ted’s cousin, Salim, mysteriously disappears while riding the famous London Eye (it’s like a  huge ferris wheel), and the whole family is frantic!  Ted thinks he spontaneously combusted but Aunt Gloria thinks that he has been kidnapped. Even the police can’t crack the case.  So Ted, whose brain functions a little differently then most people’s, and his big sister, Kat, decide to put their aside their fighting to work together as detectives.  They follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate search to find Salim while time ticks dangerously by.  What goes up must come down…right?
 
By MPPL on December 2, 2008 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Mystery & Suspense

Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements

syndetics-lc  If you like a good mystery, take a look at the clues in Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements, and see what you make of it. There’s more than one mystery going on in the tiny farm town of Plattsford, and Ted Hammond is in on all of them.  The only sixth-grader in the one-room, one-teacher school, Ted has always been a big fan of mysteries.  He reads at least three a week, and he doesn’t just read them.  He solves them, too. He stops half way through the book, takes notes on suspects and evidence, and works through the theories.  Eight times out of ten, he’s right.

It’s not surprising then that Ted notices the face in a second-floor window of the old Anderson place.  Only problem is, the Anderson moved away two years ago and the farmhouse has been abondoned and boarded up ever since.  He investigates, and what he finds is a homeless family – a mom and two kids in desperate need of shelter and secrecy ever since their dad was killed in Iraq.  What will Ted do?  Help the family and keep their secrecy?  Turn them in to the authorities as trespassers?  Ted makes some surprising choices that have some big, big consequences.

Book read by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By MPPL on October 27, 2008 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary Ann S.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

syndetics-lcFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is considered a classic by many and is also a Newbery award winner from the 1960’s.  I’d heard it was a story about two kids who run away from home in an unusual way.  I was intrigued.  So I picked it up and found out that the story is just as clever and cute as I’d hoped, and the characters are realistic and lovable.  Claudia Kincaid, a 12-year-old straight-A perfectionist, does not want to pull off that “old-fashioned kind of running away… in the heat of anger with a knapsack on [your] back,” so instead she arranges to run towards something.  So she recruits her brother, Jamie, mostly because he has money saved up, and they go to a large, comfortable, beautiful place- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Between keeping their residency a secret and trying to solve the mystery of a controversial statue, the two have plenty to keep them busy.  This book kept me guessing ‘til the end!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Librarian

The Theft and the Miracle by Rebecca Wade

The Theft and the Miracle Do you like Christmas stories that are also mysteries?  I hope so because you’re going to enjoy reading The Theft and the Miracle by Rebecca Wade! Overweight, suffering from acne, and feeling insecure, Hannah Price does not have many friends.  But what she does have is talent.  She’s a wonderful artist. When a wooden statue of baby Jesus is stolen from the cathedral after she sketches it, Hannah becomes a suspect. This wasn’t just any statue but one that people felt had a special power.   When a terrible illness travels throughout the city, people are sure that this is because of Hannah. No, the illness isn’t the Bubonic Plague, it’s more like colds, but it spreads like a plague!  Will people stop getting sick? Will Hannah find the statue?  Will she make more friends? And who exactly was the thief?  This is a mystery that will thrill you!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Library Assistant

By MPPL on December 18, 2007 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Anne W.

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

Shakespeare's Secret In Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach, a sixth grade girl named Hero moves with her family into a Maryland house that has a secret of its own. Her school year begins with a bumpy start, but she makes friends with Danny Cordova, the cutest and most popular boy in the eighth grade.  Things take an interesting turn when Hero befriends her eccentric next door neighbor, Mrs. Roth, who reveals to her that a centuries-old million dollar diamond might be hidden in the girl’s house. The plot thickens as the search for the precious jewel unearths a link between the diamond’s original owner and a nobleman believed by some to be the original author of Shakespeare’s plays. This book is a great mystery!

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Library Assistant

By MPPL on November 20, 2007 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Darice C.