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The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children

Four newly orphaned children: Henry, Jessie, Violet & Benny are on their own looking for food, water and a safe place to sleep at night. The kids have a Grandfather, but they’ve heard he’s mean and doesn’t want them, so they’ve decided to try to make it on their own.

During a storm, the kids find shelter in an old boxcar. It’s safe, dry and near a place to get water. The boxcar becomes their home. When Violet gets sick,  the kids are forced to find an adult that can help. Can they trust the doctor? Will he take them away from their boxcar home? Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner Series: The Boxcar Children Mysteries

And it turns out the four kids have a knack for solving mysteries and star in many, many more Boxcar Children Mysteries starting with book #2 Surprise Island. Surprise Island

Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the original 19 Boxcar Children books. After she died, her publisher arranged to have more Boxcar children books published about the same four kids. New this year is The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels. That means the books look like a comic book.

List of Boxcar Books (except the graphic novels)

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Collecting Evidence in Who Stole Uncle Sam?

Collecting Evidence in Who Stole Uncle Sam?

Who Stole Uncle Sam?Physical evidence is any object found at a crime scene that might be a clue to help figure out what happened…or who did it. You have to be very careful collecting evidence and keeping track of it. It’s very important to write down the date and time when you found the object and where you found it. It’s also important to wear gloves so that you don’t contaminate the evidence before a laboratory can run tests on it. For example, you wouldn’t want to get your own fingerprints on an object that might have the suspect’s fingerprints on it.

Print out copies of this evidence card to keep in your detective tool kit to help you keep track of the important things you find. Put the evidence, and the filled out evidence card, in a ziploc bag – that keeps the evidence dry and secure.

Print Undercover Readers Official Evidence Card

In Who Stole Uncle Sam? Alex’s baseball coach, Mr. Banner, enters a port-a-potty at the park to change into his Uncle Sam costume for an annual running event but fails to come back out again. The kids yell for him. Nothing. They finally decide to open the door. He’s gone!  How can someone disappear into thin air? Even stranger…the coach turns up later in the afternoon stumbling out of a different port-a-potty, dazed and confused. How did he get from one port-a-potty to the other? Why can’t he remember the time he was missing? Did someone do this on purpose? Alex and his friend Yasmeen investigate – including a stint in the police department’s evidence room sifting through a weekend’s worth of garbage collected from the park. Sometimes, detective work stinks! The evidence sure stinks but the lead they get from it doesn’t! Author: Martha Freeman

If you lik Alex and Yasmeen – try one of their other mystery adventures:

Talk the Talk Word of the Day: Disguise – To change how you look so that you cannot be recognized.

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Alec Flint: The Nina, the Pinta & the Vanishing Treasure

Alec Flint: The Nina, the Pinta & the Vanishing Treasure

The Nina, the Pinta and the Vanishing TreasureAlec Flint doesn’t go anywhere without his detective tools stuffed into his pockets. Alec doesn’t want to be just any detective, he wants to be a really great detective – a super sleuth. He likes hanging out with his Dad, a police officer, so he can learn about investigations. When artifacts from the Christopher Columbus museum exhibit his Dad is guarding come up missing, Alec pulls out his notepad and gets to work collecting clues.

At school, another mystery develops when Alec’s art teacher disappears. With so many mysterious things going on, Alec decides to take on his classmate Gina as a partner. Two heads are better than one when it comes to unraveling clues.

Alec and Gina head to the scenes of both crimes, the art room and the town museum. They begin searching for clues and collecting evidence, which looks a lot like snooping around! Author: Jill Santopolo

Read Chapter One


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The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery

Good detectives can manage a lot of information coming into their brain. They choose which pieces of information to concentrate on. In, The London Eye,Ted doesn’t know it, but he is naturally wired with good detective skills. He is able to easily choose one type of information to concentrate on which helps him use his logic skills to solve the mystery.

Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim comes to their home in London for a visit and they take him to the popular tourist attraction the London Eye, an enormous ferris wheel. At 443 feet high, riders on the Eye can see 25 miles in all directions. The thing is so large, 800 passengers can ride at once! (The Eye is really real, you can go to London to ride on it.) While the kids are standing in line, a stranger appoaches and offers them a free ticket. Salim uses the free ticket to enter the ride and his cousins watch as the car he enters moves up and over the wheel and back to the ground, where all of the riders get off…except…Salim…who has disappeared into thin air. How can a kid enter a ride and never get off again? And who was the stranger that gave Salim the ticket?

The police are stumped and the adults are emotionally overcome, barely able to function themselves let alone think through any kind of investigation. Ted and Kat, the last two to see Salim alive, shelve their sibling rivalry and pool their brain power to uncover clues and follow leads all over London. Kat uses her customary impatience to keep the momentum of their sleuthing moving forward. Ted uses his encyclopedic brain, his literal view of the world, and his detachment from emotion to concentrate on the known facts, and just the facts, to track the clues. A page turning, suspenseful ride with the best kind of hero – a guy whose unusual way of thinking finally gets the respect it deserves. Author: Siobhan Dowd

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Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City

Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City

Kiki StrikeYou can pick up some dead on detective/spy tips from Kiki Strike, her book jacket says it all, “Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy- welcome to the world of Kiki Strike”. I love it.

Kiki Strike is the story of the Irregulars, a group of girls brought together by the mysterious, the skilled, the top secret Kiki Strike. She’s fluent in a dozen languages. Breaking and entering? No problem. Kiki has recruited a group of gifted former Girl Scouts for a top secret mission - exploring and protecting underground tunnels that make up a secret city below Manhattan. If the secret city gets into the wrong hands, we’re ALL doomed! As the author says, “Some girls are more spice than sugar.” That’s Kiki Strike. That’s the Irregulars.

Each chapter ends with a guide to “essential skills” like”How to Be a Master of Disguise”, “How to Foil a Kidnapping” and “How to take Advantage of Being a Girl.” When you want answers, get them from a pro. Author: Kirsten Miller

Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City Web Comic Used With Permission:

kiki-web-comic

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