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WHO IS STEALING THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS? (Chickadee Court Mysteries)

Author: Martha Freeman

Illustrator: Eric Brace, cover art

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Holiday House,

Material: paperback

Summary: One of the great things about living on Chickadee Court is the 12 Days of Christmas display on the neighbors' lawns. Its so popular people come from all over to see the yards and listen to the song. Except this year something is going very wrong. Each night, one of the birds is going missing. First one of the geese, then the partridge (really a ducky) in the pear tree, and THEN Luau, Alex's cat! Alex and Yasmeen decide to investigate. Just as they are figuring it out, Alex discovers a rare Super Macho Military Mouse. Should he keep it? should he tell Yasmeen about it (she'll make him give it back!). And who is hiding these mice anyway? This is a middle-grade chapter book mystery with a Christmas tie-in.

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

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 13

Interest Level: 8 and up

Reading Level: 3.5

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. There's plenty of mystery, some humor, and some ethical dilemmas, too. It was nice to find a meatier story for older kids.

Pros: Friends, neighbors, and a good old-fashioned crime spree combine in this wholesome chapter book for independent readers. Although it doesn't have illustrations, it has plenty of description to keep younger and mixed-age audiences listening.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a nice book for your holiday collection, especially if you have children of different ages. Even after you know who did it, there are lots of clues that you may have missed in the first reading.


Educational Themes: This is a fun story to share out loud. The chapters are well designed and allow you to pause to put together the clues (and what you don't know) up to that point, and then also predict what's next. Alex's dilemma over keeping or turning in the mouse is one kids can relate to and would be a gret discussion.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. This is a book from her personal library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - Christmas, family, friendship, mystery, middle grade series, crime

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2011

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