Children's Book Reviews

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Mysteries & Model Trains

I am especially fond of this book for two reasons. Shh, don't tell, but I read mysteries for relaxation in-between my books for research and the "heavier" fiction! Mysteries, while some are light reading, others vie with mainstream fiction in quality prose, plot, and character studies. such as Martin Cruz Smith's Rose. I also related to the book because my Uncle Ralph was a model train maker. He would go out across the country and world and photograph old trains, then go home and lovingly built scale models of each train. Uncle Ralph was quiet, and never talked much about this exquisite hobby. My cousin recently called me to tell me that this last spring Ralph was honored at a model train convention in Washington, DC. What a wonderful legacy. Do read this book to see how mysteries and model trains create great reading fun. I do hope Nancy Means Wright will write more sequels!

The Great Circus Train Robbery
A Northern Spy Mystery

Who stole Spence’s antique circus train cars? Was it Juniper Boomer like Zoe suspects? And, where does Hackberry the circus clown fit into all of this? There are more questions than answers as Zoe is determined to solve a mystery in order to become a lieutenant in her brother Kelby’s Northern Spy Club. Zoe is a daring and adventurous girl, while her friend Spence is determined to solve the mystery of his missing train cars. Together they do an amazing job of deduction and of following clues until the mystery is solved.

Nancy Means Wright continues her award winning adventures of Zoe Elwood, girl detective, in this fun and page-turning sequel to The Pea Soup Poisonings. It is well plotted and the characters are likeable and fascinating like Sweet Gum the monkey with pierced ears. The setting in Vermont, as well as the behind the scenes in the circus are fun to get to know. Readers age 8 to 12, will delight in this book and all of Zoe’s adventures. All readers will eagerly want yet another in this series. What a welcome addition to a home or classroom library!

Author: Nancy Means Wright
Hilliard Harris, Boonsboro, MD, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59133-245-9


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