Monday, February 25, 2013

A winner... and a mystery!

First, I need to announce the winner of the prize package of a paperback of Hattie Big Sky and an arc of Hattie Ever After!  According to random.org, the winner is:




creativewritingintheblackberrypatch
(aka Janet)



Congratulations, Janet! Expect an email from me, asking for your mailing address.

Now to today's MMGMM. Yes, there's an extra M in there, for mystery.

I've been writing a middle grade mystery, so I thought it wise to read more mysteries over the past few months. And I really liked this one:



The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (Yearling/Random House paperback published 2009, for ages 8 to 12).

Source:
paperback purchased from local bookstore

Synopsis (from Indiebound): Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off—except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery. 

Why I liked it: Oh, without a doubt the character of Ted! He wants to be a meteorologist when he grows up, so he's obsessed with weather forecasts. His autism is never defined, but he nonetheless works out puzzles in his head, counts his breakfast cereal Shreddies as he eats them, and doesn't like to be hugged. Dowd, who sadly died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 47, makes Ted both likable and memorable. Ted tells the story in first person and London comes to life through his eyes. The mystery kept me guessing, and I also liked the way Ted and his sister grow closer together while they try to figure out what happened to Salim.

What middle grade mysteries have you read lately?

For more MMGM posts, see Shannon Messenger's links or my sidebar.

24 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great one! And the MC's names, Ted and Kat, love those! Easy to pronounce names is so important for MG, I think. My kids get super frustrated when they don't know how to say the names or there's a pronunciation guide of some sort.

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    1. Excellent point, Barbara. My kids had so much trouble pronouncing Hermione when they read the Harry Potter books.

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  2. The characters sound awesome in this one. Can't say I've read any mysteries lately. I'm just getting back into reading some middle gread.

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    1. Well, if you ever need a mystery, keep this one in mind, Natalie. It's fast-paced.

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  3. I just read From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This book sounds like a good one. And . . . I am so excited to win the books! I love historical fiction. Thank you. I am sending you my address. Janet

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    1. Got your email. Thanks, Janet! Hope you enjoy them both.

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  4. I can't remember any on top of my head but I do know I really want to read 3 times lucky and Liar and Spy.
    Now I'm adding this one to my list too. :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. Hi Akoss! Oh, Liar and Spy is great. Haven't read Three Times Lucky, but since it won a Newbery Honor, I really should.

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  5. Congrats to Janet!

    I read this one last year and enjoyed it. A great book to help us look at things from a different perspective. :)

    I just finished reading The Secret Tree.
    ~Jess

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    1. Hi Jess! Glad you liked this one too. And The Secret Tree is on my TBR list.

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  6. Three Times Lucky is very good, you should definitely add it to your list. I know The London Eye Mystery is going on mine. What a great premise, and the characters sound awesome!
    Cindy

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  7. This one looks good. I love London books!

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    1. Me too, Kristen! Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. This was a good one! Sometimes it can be hard to find a smart enough MG mystery. I liked Ted's character too.

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    1. Glad you liked it too, Andrea. Yes, that's a good way to describe it: a smart mystery.

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  9. Joanne, this sounds really intriguing and something for both boys and girls. And with just a few words you've already got me interested in Ted. My kind of MG lit, with more complex characters.

    Danika

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    1. Great! Hope you get a chance to read it, Danika.

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  10. None. :)

    My son has asperger's syndrome and he used to be obsessed about meteorology. He's now 13 and it's still a possible career choice for him.

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    1. Wow, Stina! I didn't know that. You and your son should read this book.

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  11. I have not read any mysteries lately, but this one sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I love the sound of this mystery. I also love the setting of London. I'm going to go to Goodreads and add it to my wish list.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.