A Sunny Summer Mystery for a Cold Winter’s Day

December 5th, 2009 by

Every week, I volunteer at a local bookstore that gives all its proceeds to charity. To keep down costs, all the books we sell are donated to us, and one of my favorite jobs at the store is manning the donation table. Everyone feels good when they give us their books, and I like interacting with them in that situation. Plus — I’m not gonna lie — I love getting that first look at what people bring in. I’m just nosy that way. And sometimes I swoop in and claim books that I want to buy for myself.

A Summer in the South by James Marshall

A Summer in the South by James Marshall

Recently, I was at the donation table, and I spotted that cover over to the left (<—), a book called A Summer in the South by James Marshall. In that moment, a flood of memories suddenly washed over me — a bunch of animals staying at a beach hotel, a silly mystery, a surprise reveal at the end. For the life of me, I don’t remember reading this book before… But I must have, because as I read it now (OF COURSE I swooped in and claimed the book for myself), more and more of it seems familiar, from the mischievous squirrel twins who enjoy causing a ruckus to the baboon musicians who act more than a little suspiciously. And King Kluk — I can’t believe I forgot about King Kluk!

Now, I realize that if you haven’t read the book, then none of this means anything to you. But guess what — I did that on purpose! Because I want you to read the book! So go and check it out already!

Now if only there were books based on some of the other mysteries solved by the detective character in A Summer in the South: “the famous Case of the Exploding Possum,” “the Puzzle of the Talking Bubblegum,” “the Disappearance of the One-Armed Octopus,” and “the Mystery of the Whistling Grandmother.” Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? Oh, that’s right — James Marshall. He’s gotta be one wacky dude… Have you read any of his books? Leave a comment to let me know!

— Karen

Kidsmomo Podcast #8: “Get a Clue”

October 19th, 2009 by

A boy detective, a cat detective… and Karen as detective? In celebration of Mystery Month, we’ve assembled a line-up of brilliantly baffling books for our latest podcast. So the only mystery left here is: why haven’t you clicked “play” yet?

      (12:10)
    Download the MP3 (11.7 MB)

  • Our Mystery Book Theater mystery book!
  • Our favorite mysteries (The Westing Game and Sam the Cat)
  • Two of YOUR recommendations (Sammy Keyes and The Mysterious Benedict Society)
  • Nancy makes a little rhyme

And when you’re done listening, don’t forget: our next theme is books with road trips! So watch our latest Mystery Book Theater video and check out these  road trip books to get you through your next long car ride.)

— Nancy and Karen

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

October 15th, 2009 by

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyReviewed by: Maddy, age 10

Rating: ★★★★★

Kidsmomo Featured Review

Featured in "Get A Clue!”

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a great book about 4 whiz-kids who go on an amazing adventure together to save humanity. A must-read! There’s also a second book that continues the story— The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

Also check out reviews for The Mysterious Benedict Society by Hahaha Me and Kate!

Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen

October 9th, 2009 by

sammy_keysReviewed by: Helen, age 10, from California

Rating: ★★★★★

okay, have you read Nancy drew?well me too
and I have read this book series and it is also about a girl detective but I think
it is WAY better

Kidsmomo Featured Review

Featured in "Get A Clue!”

its full of:cranky police officers,criminals,high tops,spunk,macaroni and salsa,and AWESOMENESS
S A M M Y K E Y E S!!!

Book Trailer: Encyclopedia Brown

October 5th, 2009 by

This book trailer for the Encyclopedia Brown series was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Mysteries theme. For more on Encyclopedia Brown, check out our “Get a Clue” podcast.

In honor of our mystery theme, we set out to create an an EXTRA mysterious Mystery Book Theater for Donal J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown series.

How could Mystery Book Theater possibly get even more mysterious? It’s a mystery! And how many times can we use some form of the word “mystery” in this post? Hmm, that’s a mysteriously mysterious mystery that will require some time to ponder… No, not really — the answer is 12 so far.

Getting bored of this? Well, what are you waiting for? Watch the mysterious video, already!

PS – Count now at 13. Could we possibly be more annoying? That’s no mystery — the answer is: YES! Just listen to the podcast!

PPS – Total count: 14.

Marvelous Mysteries

October 5th, 2009 by

Hey, gumshoe, listen up. We’ve got a real interesting case for ya, see. We were sitting at our desks, working on Kidsmomo when this blonde dame wandered into our office. She’d obviously been crying, and she was clutching an old photo in her hand. She sat down, gathered her thoughts, and then said —

Okay, she didn’t say anything, because this never really happened. We’re making it all up. I mean, come on, you think our lives are that exciting? If they were, we wouldn’t need to read these mystery books (in no particular order):

  1. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Karen’s pick)
  2. Sam the Cat, Detective by Linda Stewart (Nancy’s pick)
  3. Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and The Calder Game by Blue Balliett
  4. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  5. Sammy Keyes series by Wendelin Van Draanen
  6. Locked in Time by Lois Duncan
  7. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  8. Goody Hall by Natalie Babbitt
  9. Room One: a Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements
  10. Mysterious Benedict Society books by Trenton Lee Stewart
  11. Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
  12. Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon
  13. Scat by Carl Hiaasen
  14. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis
  15. The Man Who Was Poe by Avi

Also, if you’ve read any of these, send in your book review and we may read it our podcast. Or send in a review of your favorite mystery book!

UPDATE 10/19/09: We revealed the answer to our mystery edition of Mystery Book Theater in the “Get a Clue” Podcast, so take a listen. You’ll get the scoop on a mystery series we both loved as kids, plus get two additional book recommendations from kids like you!

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