Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Marcia Wells's debut novel: Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile**

Age Range: 9 - 12 years
Grade Level: 4 - 7
ISBN-10: 0544238338 - Hardcover $16.99
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2014), 256 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher and the Amazon Vine Program.

The blurb:
Sixth-Grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, code named "Eddie Red," has a photographic memory and a prodigious talent for drawing anything he sees.  When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case, drawing Eddie deeper into NY's famous Museum Mile and closer to a dangerous criminal group known as the Picasso Gang.  Can Eddie help catch the thieves in time, or will his first big case be his last?

I loved Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile! I was hooked with the "Mystery on Museum Mile, but I'm having a hard time breaking down what exactly makes it such a fun and memorable read. It's clear that sixth grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot is precocious, brilliant, and funny. His best friend is supposed to be even smarter than Edmund and suffers from ADHD and OCD. They're clearly targets for bullies and, sure enough, the boys suffer through all sorts of awful encounters. But even though they're scared, the two friends don't adjust their personalities - they stay their quirky and smart selves.

The book is told from Edmund's point of view and since he's unusually perceptive and witty, I was chuckling out loud. I haven't loved a character as much since I read Al Capone Does My Shirts. Plus, we find that Edmund is facing a real problem. He needs to use his unique talents to help identify and catch the mastermind art thief - if he does so, he'll be able to stay at his private school and with his friends. A lot of time is spent in the Metropolitan Museum, the Neue Gallery, and the Guggenheim Museum which adds another dimension to the book.

I'm trying not to give any spoilers - let me just say, buy this book for your child or your niece or nephew. I loved it and am pretty sure that they'll love it too.

I also liked that Eddie Red/Edmund Xavier Lonnrot is African American - race isn't an issue in the story, it's just part of their personality and background.

About the Author:
Marcia Wells lives with her husband and two young children in Vermont. This is her debut novel.  Learn more about her at www.marciawellsauthor.com

**We Need Diverse Books - lead character, Eddie Red, is a brilliant African American 6th grader.

No comments:

Post a Comment