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Tuesday, August 25
The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
(The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins #1)
Written by Holly Webb, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
My rating: ★★★★
Publisher: HMH Books
Date of publication: September 2, 2014
Age: Grades 2 - 5
Themes: detective work, sidekicks, thievery,
Twelve-year-old Maisie is a noticing sort of person. She's convinced she would make an excellent detective if she ever got the chance! But instead, she spends her days polishing the banisters at her grandmother's boarding house or fetching fish for the lodgers' dinner. Finally, Maisie's big chance to prove herself arrives when her friend is falsely accused of taking money from his employer. While the grown-ups turn a blind eye to the whodunit and justice goes un-served, Maisie and her canine sidekick, Eddie, search the streets for clues to crack the case.
This is a fantastic simple mystery that really has some charm. The setting in Victorian England definitely lends it a "Sherlock Holmes" air, but the characters keep it approachable for kids of all ages. Maisie is spunky and smart, but not afraid to own up to mistakes. And Eddie is just plain adorable. There may be a few challenges in the vocabulary here and there (I got to look up what a "hansom carriage" was and now I know it wasn't a mispelling of "handsome," ha!) but it's great for beginning readers and as a read aloud. Also, the illustrations are adorable--not overwhelming; a great addition.
I recommend it, especially to the budding detectives out there. I think it's a step up from Cam Jensen and all the charm of A Little Princess. Also, it's a good precursor to the Enola Holmes Mysteries (Nancy Springer).
Find it at your library or on Amazon