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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, ©2003

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, anytime reading, independeent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 8 and up

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 - holiday, family, friendship, mystery, crime, series book

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2011

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at We’re interested in your review. Please enter your Name (and blog in Parenthesis), then copy/paste your post link in the URL field. With a link exchange, we both benefit because interested readers can visit you too!


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