Posts tagged ‘detective story’

PANDEMONIUM

Gabby Gibson: Middle School Detective

Written by Sharon Broomall

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The author has her pulse on the middle school audience. Gabby Gibson, the protagonist, is the perfect heroine. Gabby’s dad has passed away, but she follows in his footsteps as detective par excellence.

She is a seventh grader at Preston Middle School who experiences many of the problems that her young readers face. There is gossip among the girls, bullying, the nerds, those perceived to be the haves and the have-nots. The dialogue is funny and authentic. Readers will laugh and cry with the characters and their foibles. Student and adult characters share equally the laughter and the criticism.

Plot centers around the mystery of how the Panda mascot of Preston Middle School got his head cut off at an important soccer game, and how the money for the annual seventh grade dance went missing. When the dance is canceled by principal, Mr. Sauerbutts, Gabby kicks her detective skills into high gear. There are enough twists and turns to keep the plot interesting. Our detective thinks she has the answer, but discovers she was wrong. Will Gabby solve the mystery and save the dance? Does the Panda mascot find his head?

At just under two hundred pages, the book is a nice fit for readers ages nine and up. Just a suggestion, a few simple drawings might have made some of those hilarious scenes even more effective.

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THE TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

The Question of Christmas

Written by Benjamin J. Denen

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The author begins his story in the prologue by pondering the question about the true meaning of Christmas and how its meaning has been transformed over time. Then he transports the reader back to few days before Christmas in the 1980’s when he was a twelve year old sixth grade student.

Spencer takes us on a detective adventure with his two best friends, Josh and Tiffany. This Christmas would be a lean one for Spencer’s family as his father has lost his job, and the family faces financial distress due to mounting medical costs. Spencer’s older brother, B.Jack needs heart surgery due to complications related to his Down’s Syndrome condition. The adventure begins when Spencer observes a stranger moving in to a long abandoned house down the street. For some reason, he senses a strange connection. That night hearing about the robbery of a valuable dagger from the museum in Chicago, Spencer is sure he recognizes the stranger in the police sketch shown on TV as that thief.

The three inseparable friends spend all their waking free hours following the man named Alejandro Rojas. When they spy him trying to sell something to Mr. O’Flannagan in the antique store, they are determined to break in to find the dagger as evidence of the crime. I will not spoil the story; of course, the plans go awry. Is Mr. Rojas guilty and what is his connection to Spencer’s town? Will the children be caught and punished? What will happen to B.Jack?

This novella of less than one hundred pages is well written. The reader will draw his own conclusions about what Christmas truly means, but the author’s conclusion is that Christmas is love in action and should be practiced all year round. This tale does not have a biased view. It is just a though provoking feel good story appropriate for tweens, teens and adults of all ages. Highly recommended!

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