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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Summary: Fiona, who is 12 years old, is going with her parent's to her grandmother's house because she has to. She is half-heartedly helping as they prepare her recently deceased grandmother’s house and personal belongings for sale. While going through the attic, Fiona found her grandfather’s astronomy books and telescopes. She also discovered a secret code that she believes will lead her to a hidden treasure. What Fiona didn’t know was that there were forces afoot, human and otherwise, who know about code and are just as anxious to find the treasure. Can Fiona break the code? Is there really a treasure to be found? What will happen to her if the forces of evil succeed? This is an illustrated chapter book mystery for pre-teens.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, illustrated chapter
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 9 and Up
Interest Level: 6 to 12
Reading Level: 3.7
Age of Child: Read by students at Northumberland Elementary School, Newport News, VA for the Reading Tub's Use Your ABCs program. Read with children ages 9 and 10.
Young Reader Reaction: The kids had lots of questions: what was in that pile of junk? why did Eugene keep disappearing? etc. They liked the story and asked to read it again.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a well-crafted story that is enjoyable and fun to read. The author knows her audience. The author sustains the reader’s interest by creating believable characters and a plot that is full of surprising twists and turns.
Pros: This is an enjoyable adolescent mystery where the reader is immediately engaged. Readers will perceive this book as a fun to read and it will encourage them to continue to read.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a well-crafted story. She captures the reader’s attention immediately and sustains that interest by creatively twisting and turning the plot. The nature of the genre and the audience’s interest in mystery suggests that the book will be reread many times.
Educational Themes: The educational value of the book is that it is a well written and enjoyable adolescent mystery. The book may appeal to girls rather than boys since the main character is an adolescent girl.
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