Isabelle is an orphan. She works in a factory to pay the rent and buy food for herself and the ailing elderly lady who adopted her. Her job? Sticking address labels on umbrella boxes…all…day…long. And she’s only ten! It rains all the time in her town. She doesn’t even know what sunshine feels like.
Even though this life sounds miserable, Isabelle is sure that one day, something special will happen to her and one day, something special does! Isabelle unexpectedly receives a perfect red apple from a very unusual source. This gift begins Isabelle’s journey to her home, not her room in the attic of the decrepit boardinghouse, but her real home - Fortune’s Magic Farm. The Farm is Isabelle’s real home, it’s the place where the ingredients for magic potions are grown. At the Farm, Isabelle meets some people like herself – special people who have an important job to do saving the world from misery and unhappiness. Author: Suzanne Selfors
Isabelle reminds me a lot of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Charlie is also down on his luck when he finds the golden ticket – his ticket to a magical place that is actually meant for him, like he was destined to go there. Isabelle is destined to go to Fortune’s Magic Farm too.
I loved the characters in this book. In Isabelle’s crummy town, Runny Cove, there are some real meanies. On Fortune’s Magic Farm there are some really fun, crazy characters – crazy in a good way – like Willy Wonka.
In The Math Maven Mysteries, each mystery will require you to read (or listen if you want to – click the “audio” button) and think about how you would solve the mystery. You need sharp math skills to solve each case Start with:
A plane makes an unscheduled landing at an airport. There is no record of it landing, not even radar images. No airport personnel seem to know where the plane came from or who could be on it. The cockpit windows are dark. The plane just sits on the runway with no passengers getting off. Finally, an airline employee looks in the plane and discovers that each seat is occupied…by a baby…and there are no adults on board…not even a pilot!
Fast forward 13 years to friends Jonah and Chip who begin receiving mysterious warnings in the mail that say “You are one of the missing” and “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.” What do the letters mean? With the help of Jonah’s sister, the boys set out to find the story of their past. Using computers and cell phones the kids follow clues and learn that their adoptions are somehow tied to the FBI. The warning letters keep coming. People the kids talk to about their situation seem to appear and disappear out of nowhere.
This is a really exciting, original adventure/mystery. Don’t think you’ll get all the answers at the end either – Found is just the beginning. Book #2 called Sent will come out August 25, 2009. There will be seven books in all. Author: Margaret Haddix Series: The Missing
If you like Margaret Haddix, try her series The Shadow Children. If you are reading The 39 Clues – Margaret Haddix will be the author writing the last book, #10, that will come out in 2010. If you haven’t tried the 39 Clues yet, start with book #1 The Maze of Bones.
Find out more about Chip and Jonah in book #2 Sent and book #3 Sabotaged or try one of these other time-bending adventures:
The Cyber-Tooth Tigers are plotting to disrupt the World Wide Web. Help Agents Glitch and Suge pull the plug on their preposterous plans! Then try out some more missions. You are quite the detective now after a summer of sleuth lessons. Go for it.
Believe it or not Nancy Drew has been around since 1930. You can read the original Nancy Drew Mysteries (beginning with #1 The Secret of the Old Clock) or you can try out the new Nancy Drew Graphic Novels. Nancy’s hairstyle and her clothes have changed over the years but her mystery solving skills are just as good as they ever were.