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THE CASE OF THE ROCK 'N ROLL DOG (First Kids Mystery, Book 1)

Author: Martha Freeman

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Publisher: Holiday House,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Cammie is the First Daughter. Her mom is the President of the United States. She lives in the White House with her younger sister, Tessa, her Aunt, her cousin and her dog, Hooligan. Hooligan creates quite a stir in the White House, terrorizing the furniture and stealing markers and other small objects. As a tween, Cammie thinks that being the daughter of the President is tough. Shee just wants a normal life like the rest of the kids in her class. However, when a popular boy band arranges a concert at her House, how can she be too upset? Unfortunately, during a rehearsal, the conductor's baton goes missing. Can Cammie and Tessa uncover the clues to find the baton in time for the concert? This is the first book in a mystery series written for ages 7 to 12.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, transitional reader

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Reading Level: 3.6

Age of Child: Read with two boys ages 4 and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: My boys enjoyed listening to the story. However, they did not quite understand everything about the story. It was a bit advanced for their age, even just listening.

Adult Reader Reaction: I thought the book was a lot of fun. It will appeal to girls ages 8 to12, and yet be a bit educational. Some of the elements of the story -- the layout of the White House, the origins of the famous Sousa Baton, etc. -- seemed well-researched. You also gotta love any story based around having a woman in the Presidency, and she seems to do a pretty good job balancing the Presidency with family life.

Pros: This is a fun mystery story with a woman in the White House as an added bonus. There is plenty of excitement and suspense without anything really bad happening (nothing violent or emotional).

Cons: None, really. This is too advanced for the stated reading audience. The book has themes / vocabulary too mature for this group.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This would be great for a tween girl (or boy) to check out from the library.

If You Liked This Book, Try: CRIME THROUGH TIME: SWINDLED! The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan   HIDDEN   THE INK DRINKER

Educational Themes: Woven into the story - which offers plenty for girls to talk about - is some history of the White House. There is also a bit about politics and diplomacy, and treating others (especially your "enemies") with respect.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, family, middle grade series

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2011

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at and No reader feedback found.


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