Thursday, August 28, 2014
Review: The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker
Author: René Saldaña, Jr.
Translator: Carolina Villarroel
Publisher: Piñata Books
Format: Paperback Bilingual Flip Book
Review Copy: Final version from publisher
Availability: On shelves now
Review: This is the third book in the Mickey Rangel series and it has convinced me that I need to find the other two. Mickey is a fifth grade detective. The book opens with Mickey sitting in the principal's office with no knowledge of why he is there. This creates quite a bit of stress for him as he wonders what she is going to say. He soon finds out that someone has been putting graffiti on school property and the principal would like Mickey to help her figure out who is doing it.
Mickey gets right to work to find out who has been leaving the graffiti messages. He's observant and also thinks up excellent questions as he digs for clues. I appreciated his sense of humor too. He tells about one Halloween when he dressed as a giant stool and his brother was a pigeon so they could be a stool pigeon. I am not certain that young readers will get that joke, but there are other reasons to smile.
Mickey also gets a little help in his work. There is a character he calls his "angel" that sometimes provides clues or prompts him with questions. This angel was in the other books too. I am curious to know if readers will ever find out the identity of this secretive angel.
I am always looking for interesting mystery books for younger readers. This is a series that would work well for readers who are ready to tackle a chapter book, but aren't ready for hundreds of pages. Another plus is that if you flip it one way, the text is in English and if you flip it the other, the text is in Spanish. I will be sure to find the other books in the series to read more about Mickey and his cases.