The Children’s Book Review | December 23, 2013
Paperback: 72 pages
Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 14, 2013)
What to expect: Mystery, Problem-Solving, Mice, Lollipops
Educator Elizabeth Woodrum’s first foray into writing children’s books is a fun mystery with an imaginative and assertive fourth-grade girl protagonist, Maisy Sawyer.
Well liked and known by the students and teachers at her school as a problem-solving detective that closes every case, Maisy takes on the task of finding out who stole the school mice—she hopes to have them returned safely to their home where they can maintain their school mascot status in the science lab. The case turns into a trifecta when Maisy’s plastic bag full of her beloved cherry flavored lollipops go missing from her locker and her best friend’s little brother’s tooth that fell out at school also disappears. As the plot thickens and it appears that this may be one case too big to solve, Maisy begins to unravel the case by using a clue from a fifth grade witness that saw a black boot disappear around a corner at the scene of the crime, some mysterious notes from a devious student that goes by the name of Black Boot and claims to be the thief, and the frequent smell of pepperoni pizza.
Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. In lieu of illustrations, her descriptions of Maisy’s love of old black-and-white mystery movies really help to set the stage and create a visual experience that shows how Maisy’s imagination—along with her natural drive—is the key to her strategic thinking.
“When she was on a case, her world seemed to fade to the black and white of one of those mystery movies. Shades of gray colored everything. She even imagined her bedroom at home to be her detective agency office.”
This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page-turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.
Add this book to your collection: Maisy and the Missing Mice: The Maisy Files, Volume 1
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