Juvenile Mysteries

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Article in Juvenile Fiction and Mystery categories.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House is a masterpiece of architecture and a Chicago landmark. Sixth graders Petra, Calder, and Tommy learn from their teacher that the Robie House is about to be disassembled. Pieces of it will be donated to four different museums. The outraged students set out to stop the demolition. The Robie House has a mysterious past, and as the three get more involved, they find even more mysteries. Strange ghostly voices come from the house. Unexplained shadows move within it. The house appears to be fighting back against the destruction. Can Petra, Calder and Tommy save the masterpiece and solve the riddles within? In this sequel to Chasing Vermeer, Brett Helquist has created another mystery within the illustrations that the observant reader will be able to solve.
The Wanderer is a small ship making its way across the ocean from Connecticut to England. Thirteen year old Sophie documents her journey in her diary. Her three uncles and two cousins complete the crew of The Wanderer. Sophie is excited about crossing the ocean and reuniting with her grandfather Bompie in England, whom she remembers fondly. Sophie's cousin Cody's diary tells a different story. He doesn't understand why Sophie remembers things that never happened. Or did they? Tension grows within the close quarters on rough seas. Each person on board has a story and a past. This family discovers they don't know each other so well after all. Whose stories are true? Read on to find out.
Ted and his sister Kat are not exactly friends. Ted has a "disorder" which causes his brain to operate on a different system than everyone else's. Their cousin Salim comes to visit them in London and wants to see the city, especially the giant wheel called the London Eye. A stranger offers the three kids a free ticket on the Eye. Since Salim is the guest, he gets the ticket. Ted and Kat watch as Salim goes up in the wheel, but when his capsule comes back down, Salim is gone. How is it possible for someone to vanish from a sealed capsule? Using his unusual brain and memory for details, Ted looks for clues others don't see. As Ted finds clues, Kat moves to action. Their only chance to find Salim is to work together as a team.
In modern day Venice, brothers Prosper and Bo have found the perfect place to hide from their cruel aunt and uncle. The abandoned movie theater shelters several street children who pick pockets to survive. Their masked leader Scipio, known as the Thief Lord, comes and goes at all hours, sometimes bringing them food or stolen goods to sell. The children adore and respect the Thief Lord, never suspecting the depth of the secrets he's keeping from them. The Thief Lord's reputation earns him an especially challenging job: to steal a magical item of such high value that its sale will bring enough money to support the gang for a long time to come. But the aunt and uncle have hired Victor, a private detective who is closing in on the boys. Prosper, Bo and the others must avoid capture and find the long lost item. What begins as the biggest job they've had turns into a magical adventure through the canals of Venice, with the stakes higher than anyone imagined.
On the eve of his eleventh birthday, Sam searches for hidden presents. In the attic of the building where he lives with his grandfather Mack, Sam finds a newspaper clipping instead. Sam doesn't read well, but he can read the word "missing," under a photo of a small boy. Sam is reminded of something. Was it a dream, or something that happened to him long ago? Suddenly Sam questions his whole life with Mack. Meanwhile, at school, Sam is paired with a girl named Caroline to build a model castle. She agrees to help Sam with his reading. As they put together the castle, they also put together the information they find about the missing boy, and more of Sam's own memories.
This is a mystery novel like no other and a classic childhood read not to be missed. An awesome and sophisticated book really, adults can read this with kids, for there is much to talk about, and will love it just as much. Ellen Raskin has created hysterically funny and fascinating characters who embody all the quirks, weaknesses, and nobility of real people. This is a multi-layered story, which comments subtly on racism, female independence, snobbery, and greed. You could keep pages of notes trying to keep track of the many clues and suspicious behaviors, as her characters try to figure out which one of them is the murderer of Sam Westing, and the answer to the "Westing game" but you may give that up as the complexity of the mystery builds. You won't figure this one out until the moving end.
The only novel ever to win the Caldecott medal, this atmospheric story set in 1930s Paris, is advanced by the 284 full page black and white drawings (also by the author) which move the plot as much as the text. Hugo, an orphaned clock repairer's son, who lives in the bowels of the train station taking care of the many clocks in the public areas, is trying to repair an antique automaton his father was working on before he died, for the message from his father he believes the automaton will write. He gets involved with the owner of a train station toy store and his god-daughter, needing parts from the mechanical toys made in their store, but the old man takes his father's notebook with notes he'd made about the workings of the automaton, and the girl knows something about the automaton but won't tell. As well as being a mystery, this novel is also historical fiction, incorporating information and encouraging readers to learn more about the mechanical figures known as automata and early film making, including the work of Parisian filmmaker Georges Melies.
Meet Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. She lives with her mother and enjoys freedoms uncommon for females in the 1880s. When Enola awakens on her birthday, her mother is missing. She searches the estate and contacts the authorities who find nothing. In desperation, she contacts her brothers who arrive and also find nothing. When Mycroft insists that Enola go to a proper school for young ladies (just the kind of school her mother had always warned her about) she decides to run away and search for her mother. She discovers a few clues in her birthday gifts and in her mother's clothing. You'd be surprised how much you can pack into a "dress improver"(bustle) with the stuffing removed and into a loose corset!
Surprise yourself with Enola Holmes other adventures!