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HUMPTY DUMPTY JR.: Hardboiled Detective: The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost

Author: Nate Evans and Paul Hindman

Illustrator: Vince Evans and Nate Evans

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Publisher: Jabberwocky, an Imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.,

Material: paperback

Summary: Humpty is a good egg. He is willing to take on Rat as a partner, but there are two conditions: Rat has to take a bath and go to school. While Rat was stating his position, Humpty tuned him out and started reading the paper. The police need help finding the boss of the Potty Mouth Gang. But then came the knock at the door. Princess Lily needed help. There is a ghost at the prestigious Merlin Institute, where she is a student. It didn't take long for the detectives to see that something was wrong. Can that crack the case? This is the second title in this humor mystery series for elementary school readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, transitional reader, illustrated chapter, reluctant reader, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 7 to 12

Reading Level: 3.8

Age of Child: Read with girl nearly 7 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: No sooner had we finished the first book, when our daughter wanted to read this one. We devoured it in just a few days. She likes quoting Rat, and was particularly impressed that the hero was a girl ... a princess no less! There is an ad in the back announcing that the next title arrives in 2009. Every couple days she asks us when the next book is coming out.

Adult Reader Reaction: Yes, the humor may be juvenile, but you can't help but laugh out loud. What makes this book fun is sharing it with your child and laughing together. The writing is very clever, complete with New Yolk scenery and accents!

Pros: Witty cliche, humor, and lots of action fill this mystery that brings King Arthur and Merlin to New York!

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. The writing is clever, and the story will induce laughter. It is sure to strike every boy's funny bone.

If You Liked This Book, Try: CRIME THROUGH TIME: SWINDLED! The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan   THE MISSING CANARY   HUMPTY DUMPTY JR.: Hardboiled Detective: The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop

Educational Themes: This is a story meant to get kids excited about reading. It is a great book for resistant or dormant readers, as well as kids just ready to start longer independent books.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid readability 3.8

See a book trailer here.

Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, crime, humor, easy reader series

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

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