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"A smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes in 1999 than in 1984."
Publisher: HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Summary: Summer vacation finally arrived for the Frump kids, Hazel (12) and Ned (9). They have beeen away at Boarding School and have been loooking forward to a relaxed and fun- filled summer with family and friends. Unfortunately, that’s not how things developed. No sooner had they returned home when their father, an art dealer, disappeared. Hazel and Ned begin to investigate the disappearance when they find out that their father is in jail in Turkey. What in the world is going on? Something is terribly amiss. Can anyone help Hazel and Ned find their father? This upper elementary novel is a mystery where a brother and sister are the detectives.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 14
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Reading Level: 4.4
Adult Reader Reaction: From the outset, the reader is immediately and convincingly caught up in this story. The pace is quick. The characters are believable and the adventures are unique. The author of this book has provided a recipe for an extraordinary and enjoyable read.
Pros: Readers are immediately engrossed in this fast-paced story that matches Nancy Drew mysteries in quality.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of wackiness, a little bit of magic and a whole lot of imagination make this an extraordinarily enjoyable and wholesome reading experience.
Educational Themes: This is a mystery/adventure story. The target audience is the pre-teen set. It is exceptionally well written and professionally crafted. Books of this quality help develop and sustain long term interest in reading.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.4
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, adventure, coming of age, humor, middle grade series
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2009
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.