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"A smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes in 1999 than in 1984."
Summary: Sam and Stephanie are enjoying summer vacation. When Mr. Snider, an elderly neighbor, has not been around for a couple of days, they become concerned about his disappearance and decide to find out what’s happened. Along the way they run into ghosts, talking photographs, mysterious prowlers, a serious crime wave, and a Police Chief who is suspicious of their role in all that’s been happening. Will they find Mr. Snider or wind up in front of a judge? This is a young adult mystery.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, advanced reader, middle grade reader, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: In my opinion, this book is a very fast-paced thriller that will certainly entertain all readers. The characters are very realistically created, as is the intricate and clever plot. Adding on more and more clues, the author molds this story into an excellent mystery for
young adolescent readers.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a book that the reader will immediately enjoy and tell his or her friends about. It is also a book that the reader will read several more times, just for the fun of it.
Pros: The characters are believable and likeable. The plot and its intricate twists and turns, keeps the reader glued to the page. The author knows what will attract and fascinate his reading audience and has provided them with a tantalizing feast of rich and tasty morsels.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book for any reader's bookshelf, for the school library/classroom and for the local public library.
Educational Themes: Themes that could be developed from this story are: (1) importance of friendship; (2) care and concern for one’s fellow-man; (3) problem solving; and (4) decision-making and the consequences of decisions.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, detective stories, series book, young adult
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2006, May 2006
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