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Summary: What is going on in Southfork? First there was a break-in and robbery at Southfork Middle School. Next, someone took $200 belonging to the Student Council. A bank robber, jailed for stealing $10,000 from the Cedar Grove Bank, escapes to find the stolen money. Then, citizens report unexplainable acts of vandalism and arson all over town. Are these isolated incidents or part of a complex plot? Who is behind this crime wave? How can they be stopped? Sam and Stephanie know how to solve a mystery, but this time things are different. This time, things are Scrambled. This is the third title in this popular mystery series for young adults.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13
Interest Level: 8 to 13
Reading Level: 5.4
Age of Child: Read by students at Woodside Magnet High School for Arts and Communication (Newport News, VA)
Young Reader Reaction: Student 1: In the first chapter I thought it was kind of boring, but it was Okay after that. It seemed a little too kid-ish to me. Student 2: I love mysteries, because you are part of the story and have to assist in cracking the case. I liked this book. I knew it had to be good because it was part of a series. I would buy this book because mysteries need to be shared.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a delightful and worthwhile read. As the third book in the series, the places and characters are familiar, yet the story is new. Despite being part of a series, the book stands on its own merit. All three titles in this series demonstrate the author’s talent and ability to write wholesome and enjoyable adolescent mysteries.
Pros: Like its predecessors, Scrambled engages the reader immediately and make it hard for them to put down.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that is fun to have on the reader's bookshelf, and should also be available in the school library or classroom, as well as at the local public library. 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.
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, adventure, crime, middle grade series