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Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good ... More

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Author: Sue Birch

Reserve at the Library

Publisher:, 2009

Material: paperback

Summary: Can three kids really solve a murder in the graveyard? Well, the *real* question is can they solve it without getting themselves killed. Lizzie and her best friend Tom White have always wanted to solve a mystery. Lizzie's brother Oliver is part of the team, but his Asperger's seems to keep getting in the way. This is a fast-paced thriller for young readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 11; read yourself: 10 to 13

Interest Level: 9 to 12

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: Lots of thrills keep you reading chapter after chapter. The story moves fast (it is just 99 pages). Because the pages are dense with text, it will be slow going for young readers (less than 12). The cover may mislead you. Although it includes blood on a gravestone, the story itself is not gruesome.

Pros: Twists, turns, and lots of action combine for a thriller mystery lovers will enjoy. With Oliver, children diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum may find a friend and someone who "gets" them.

Cons: The story is almost too fast. As I was reading I kept wondering how an 8-year-old would keep pace.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow.

If You Liked This Book, Try: SPAGHETTI IS NOT A FINGER FOOD (AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS)   KEISHA'S DOORS / Las Puertas de Keisha (An Autism Story Book 1)   THE MISSING CANARY

Educational Themes: Oliver's personality illustrates life for someone on the Autisms Spectrum (Asperger Syndrome). The story can open conversations about the disease.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - middle grade, mystery, disabilities

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2015

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at


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