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Summary: Dan Reimer, who is 12, is “so not interested” in starting sixth grade. He knows Lyle Auger, the school bully, will waste no time tormenting him and his friends. There was a glimmer of hope when an exchange student, Nathan Quist, from Oxford, England, joined the class and became Dan’s friend. However, bad things began to happen. Laura Peters was found tied up and drugged in a janitor’s closet. Mr. Judson, Dan’s teacher, had his wallet stolen and Lyle falsely accused Nathan of the theft. Dan and Nathan decide to do their own investigation of Laura’s kidnapping but can they succeed? She’s still in a coma. What can the boys do that the police have not already examined? This is a middle-grade mystery authored by a teen.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reading, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Reading Level: 2.8
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: It is a wholesome story that most of the audience will read and re-read and share with their friends. The author was seventeen when he published this book. The story was well received by its “tweener” audience and it appears as though the author has already completed a second book that has earned critical acclaim.
Pros: This book will keep readers glued to the present novel and anxious to get into the next adventure. This book has great potential as a high interest/low readability title.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This book is vintage “Tweener Lit,” with characters and events kids can relate to. The story keeps the readers glued to their chairs from beginning to end.
Educational Themes: The story sheds light on the difficulties and challenges, real and imagined, that children deal with as they pass through adolescence. Using the book as resource, savvy parents and teachers will find opportunities to discuss self image, bullying, drugs and alcohol and sex in meaningful ways.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, adventure, crime, Christian themes
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2009
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