Miranda is in the sixth grade and lives in an apartment building in New York City. The school year is moving along pretty much like any other until the Friday Miranda comes home from school and discovers her apartment door unlocked…and the spare key missing from its secret hiding spot. Miranda’s mom is immediately concerned and has the lock on the door changed.
On Monday, Miranda discovers a note hidden in her backpack:
M, This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well, I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key. The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.
If the spare key was stolen on Friday, why would someone ask where it was hidden on Monday? It’s already gone. Weird. As Miranda’s mom says, “Someone with the key wouldn’t have to ask where the key is. It makes no sense.”
What’s weirder is Miranda keeps fiinding more notes, and the second one starts out “Miranda” not “M,” so the notes are definately for her. The writer of the notes knows things no one else should know. And then the notes start to mention things that haven’t happened…yet. When the notes start to predict what happens later, that’s when things start to get really interesting.
This story is a puzzle. It’s the kind of story you want to read again to catch how all the puzzle pieces fit together. The author had me really guessing until the very end. Author: Rebecca Stead 2010 Newbery Medal Winner
Amy and Dan are still hard at work following the 39 clues. (If you haven’t started this series yet read the blog post The 39 Clues #1 Maze of Bones.) This time the clues lead Amy and Dan to places all over Egypt. The kids meet an old friend of their Grandmother’s and some old enemies too – those rotten Cahill relatives just keep turning up. This time the kids really have to decide just how far they should take the advice they were given when they started the clue hunt, “trust no one.” Does that include your Grandmother’s best friend? Does that include…each other? Another fast paced adventure that finds Amy and Dan locked in an ancient tomb. Author: Jude Watson
13 year-old Lyza lives in New Jersey in 1968 with her Dad and her hippie sister. Lyza’s mother has abandoned the family and they are trying to keep it together with just the three of them. As Lyza says about the time since her mom left, “our family began to unravel/like a tightly wound ball of string.” This book is written as a series of poems that make Lyza’s experiences seem even more real. It’s kind of like reading her diary or listening in on her thoughts.
Lyza’s grandfather’s death is another emotional blow for a family already on the edge. While cleaning out his house, Lyza discovers something curious, an envelope labeled, “for Lyza only.” In the envelope are old maps and clues that may lead to the pirate treasure of Capt. Kidd – a treasure that might be buried somewhere in Lyza’s hometown.
Lyza recruits her best friends Malcolm and Carolann to help her understand the clues and old maps. The kids operate in secret, doing their research by day and sneaking out at night to do their digging.
For Lyza, there are some mysteries she can’t solve by herself, like the reason her mother left. Other mysteries, like the whereabouts of Captain Kidd’s treasure, she just might be able to unravel with the help of a few good friends.
This story is set during the Vietnam war. Lyza has a lot of loss around her. Her mom has left, her Grandpa dies and boys from her town are dying in the war. All of this could make a person sink into despair, but instead, Lyza chooses to be alive. She chooses to grab the adventure that is handed to her. I really liked that about her. Life is unpredictable and sometimes very hard. But it IS life and life has all kinds of wonderful things and good surprises in it too. You can’t really have one without the other. I liked reading about a girl who is learning how to handle both. Author: Jen Bryant
I think that this book was a good perspective on what dreams and future you can have if you just believe in yourself. Think about what the two people in this story are trying too tell you about their life. Author: Cristina Kessler Reviewed by Amanda
I haven’t read this one, but here is a summary from the online catalog: “Ignoring her parents’ wishes, as well as the customary place of women in Timbuktu society, twelve-year-old Ayisha joins her twin brother in trying to stop a pair of tourists from stealing an ancient manuscript.”
Trouble in Timbuktu sounds good and I think I’ll take Amanda’s advice and put that one on hold. I would like to learn about Timbuktu – which is actually a real place. It is a city in the West African nation of Mali. It’s not just an imaginary far away place, like when we sarcastically describe someplace as, “in Timbuktu!” – meaning – really, really far away.
It was a good book that kept me reading. It was kind of a mystery. Mostly it was about a girl solving a crime. Reviewed By: BookWormKid Author: Peter Abrahams Series: Echo Falls Mystery
The Echo Falls Mysteries star eigth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill, a girl who idolizes Sherlock Holmes and solves mysteries in her home town of Echo Falls. In Down th Rabbit Hole, Ingrid’s mystery solving life is turned on end when she becomes the target of a murder investigation. Down the Rabbit Hole was a Young Hooser Book Award Nominee for 2008-2009 for 6-8th graders. You can keep following Ingrid’s adventures in her next two adventures. In Behind the Curtain, Ingrid uncovers an athletic scandal at her local high school and in Into the Dark, she fights to clear her Grandfather’s name when a body is found on his farm.