Monday, June 3, 2013

The Wig in the Window, by Kristen Kittscher -- a fun mystery for tweens (ages 10-13)

OK, time for true confessions. I am gullible. I fall completely into stories and movies, gasping when something awful happens, and never figuring out the clues until the main character does. Yes, I even believed a classmate in 6th grade when they told me that "gullible" was not in the dictionary. You get the picture.

But mysteries are deliciously fun to read. Even if I can never quite put all the clues together until it's too late and the main character is running for her life. It turns out -- reading mysteries is also really good for you. Mystery readers need to play close attention to the details as they read, but they also need to make predictions and think about how these clues fit together as a whole. Take a look here at Lucy Calkin's 3rd grade mystery unit and how two teachers made it work: Amber Polk and Wendy McElhinny.

If you're looking for a fun new mystery for tweens, I had a lot of fun reading Kristen Kittscher's debut novel The Wig in the Window. It's a great mystery for kids who have moved on from Encyclopedia Brown and are ready for something longer. I'm excited to join the Wig in the Window tour in anticipation of its release on June 18th!
The Wig in the Window
by Kristen Kittscher
HarperCollins, 2013
at your local library
ages 10 - 13
Best friends Sophie and Grace have fun pretending to be spies as they conduct late night stakeouts in their southern California suburb. But things take an unexpected turn when they spy on Sophie's odd guidance counselor, Dr. Agford, and witness what the girls are sure is a bloody murder and call 911. But when the police discover that Dr. Agford was just chopping beets with a cleaver, the girls are in big trouble.

Sophie takes full blame, since the police track the call to her phone call, and her parents are not happy. Sophie must endure frequent "counseling" sessions with Dr. Agford as well as do community service working in Dr. Agford's yard every Saturday.

The suspense escalates as Sophie and Grace follow their suspicions that something is just not right with Dr. Agford, her wig, and her behavior. There are many twists and turns, both in their friendship and in the case, that will captivate tweens who love realistic stories and mysteries. Sophie's narrative is both appealing and a natural hook.

Bay Area friends - if you know tweens who love a good mystery, will you email me? We're trying to plan a special event for kids this summer when Kristen Kittscher visits the Bay Area. Our plans are still under wraps, like all good mysteries!

Have fun following other stops on The Wig in the Window blog tour. Here are few favorites (I'll update as the tour progresses):
The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, HarperCollins. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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