By: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Realistic, Mystery
Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate, and Addy are all stereotypical high school kids. Cooper is the jock, Addy is the pretty one, Nate is the criminal, and Bronwyn is the smart one. So it makes sense that they are confused when they all get detention for something they didn't do. But their confusion morphs into bewilderment when Simon, the only other kid in detention, mysteriously drops dead.
This who-done-it mystery was very good. I could barely force myself to put the book down as I tried to figure who killed Simon. I loved watching how the relationship between the four teenagers develops as they try to figure it out. Even if you don't normally like mystery novels, you should read it because there is so much more than just a mystery in this book. Only if you pay the closest attention will you figure this insane mystery out.
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By Pseudonymous Bosch
“He’d only bent his head for a second, but it had been long enough for Cass to get a glimpse of the back of his neck—and to get the proof she was looking for.” … “What?” “The birthmark on his neck. It was shaped like a crescent moon.”
One might say that Cass and Max-Ernst are absolute opposites. Some may say that they are the same. Cass is a survivalist. She is ready for any type of disaster thrown at her at any time. She is always prepared. In fact, as you read this, there is a 99.9999% chance that she has all of survival necessities at the ready in her backpack. Some of which include a flashlight one of the most important, a compass, which is always a good idea, and if she can remember, she will have her homework.
When a box of old junk is delivered to her Grandpa Larry and Wayne’s junk shop, she finds a curious little box called the Symphony of Smells. The old box of junk was delivered by Gloria Fortune, a common donated to her grandfather's store. Gloria sells houses after the owner has died, and is often coming to donate the previous owners belongings. Gloria says that the owner was an old magician who died in a common home-kitchen fire. When Class starts to dig deeper into the story, she realizes that something isn’t right about Gloria’s story. After meeting Max-Ernst on the playground one day at school, they become collaborators to try and solve the strange mystery. One day they take the dangerous trip to the magicians house to look for some clues. After a very close call with almost getting caught during a house tour, Cass and Max-Ernest realize that the people who visiting the house really didn’t want the house, they wanted something else. They soon realize that they have endangered themselves, and that by visiting the magicians house, they have gotten themselves into quite an mission. Why did those strangers want the personal files of the magician so badly? What really happened to the magician and his home? Most importantly, and though it’s an awfully dark thought, are Cass and Max-Ernest safe?
In this exhilarating story, we take a life risking adventure to help Cass and Max-Ernst try to save the magician, while bounding over obstacles that are put in their way. This is a terrific book for anybody over the age of 8! This is a terrific book for a bedtime read-aloud, and fun for the whole family!
By Daniella, 2023
The Summer of Broken Things
By Margaret Peterson Haddix
Review by Lila H.
Kayla and Avery barely know each other except for a few playdates they had when they were little. So they are both surprised when Avery’s dad offers to take Kayla along to Madrid, Spain for the summer. In spain they uncover connections about their families that turns their world upside down.
This realistic fiction novel was very enjoyable. I loved seeing the relationship between Kayla and Avery adapt and develop. Even though this book is realistic fiction, it has a huge plot twist I never expected and finishes off with a sweet ending . It is also very well written. I think that you should read this book if you enjoy realistic fiction books and surprises.