Here’s a book I really enjoyed from my summer reading list: Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave, by Deron R. Hicks. This is the first book in the Letterford mysteries.
Beginning in the year 1616 on Mont Saint Michel on the coast of France, the reader is immediately engaged as a man breaks into a church in order to remove an item that he has been asked to protect. Flash forward to 1623 when a man is asked to built a mysterious device in a small room. Flash forward again to the present day as newspaper articles tell of the misfortunes of one famous publishing house, Letterford Publishing. Chapter 2 takes the reader to Manchester, Georgia where we meet Colophon Letterford, the 12 year old daughter of Mull Letterford, the beleaguered owner of Letterford Publishing. As the family sits down to Thanksgiving dinner, a mysterious and unkempt Cousin Julian arrives. Colophon learns that Cousin Julian is trying to find a treasure, supposedly hidden by Colophon’s ancester, Miles Letterford. Together, Colophon, her older brother Case and Cousin Julian set off to solve the Letterford mystery and hopefully save Letterford Publishing.
This is a fast-paced, intelligent mystery perfect for upper elementary readers. I can’t wait to recommend it to my students.
The Shadows is the first book in the Books of Elsewhere series. I love a mystery, and I couldn’t put this book down. My students can’t stop reading at the first book. They go on and read the next two books in the series. Wait until I tell them book 4 is coming out soon!
Olive Dunwoody and her parents move into the McMartin house after Ms. McMartin passes away. Their new house comes with all the McMartin’s possessions. There are lots of interesting pieces of furniture and paintings on the wall. When Olive and her parents try to move a painting, they find all the paintings in the house are stuck to the walls. Olive’s parents leave Olive to her own devices, a lot. Olive is a curious girl. She uses her free time to roam around the house. Inside one drawer, Olive finds spectacles. She discovers that when she wears the spectacles, she can see people in the paintings move. Olive also learns that she can enter and leave each painting in the house. Olive meets people in the paintings. One of the people she meets is a little boy, Morton, who is desperately afraid of a man he says put him in the painting. Olive is determined to solve the mystery of people in the paintings and to discover the secrets of McMartin family and their home. But, it is said that “curiosity killed the cat.” Will Olive survive her search for the truth about the paintings?
Recommended for tween readers who love a good, exciting mystery.