Here’s a mystery that has never failed to please my students. It’s not only a good mystery, it’s funny, quirky, a little dark, has an adventurous main character with a loyal and helpful friend. Best of all, it leaves readers wanting more. (Luckily, there are five books in this series.)
This book begins with the words, “WARNING: DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS PAGE!’ Even the only slightly curious would want to turn the page. And, being more than slightly curious, I did turn the page, only to read the words, “Good. Now I know I can trust you. You’re curious. You’re brave. And you’re not afraid to lead a life of crime.” 🙂 The first chapter consists of all “x’s”. Yes, there are no words; because, of course, the first chapter would have revealed the names of the characters, the place where the story takes place and the dates. All those things are, well, secret.
I can tell you this: The main character’s name is Cassandra, and she is a survivalist. She goes no where without her backpack of survival gear. She lives alone with her mother and often visits her mom’s friends, Grandpa Larry and Grandpa Wayne. Cass discovers a box called the “Symphony of Secrets”, learns that it came from the house of a dead magician. She and her new friend, a boy named Max-Ernest, believe that the magician is actually alive and crying out for help. This, coupled with the disappearance of a strange boy from school lead them on a chase to save the magician and the missing boy.
I read this book to my son years ago, and we absolutely loved it. Since then, I’ve recommended it to countless students who never fail to come back to get book number two, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. Don’t miss this great book!