Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance. Others who can be counted on for a great MMGM review each week:
Chicagoland Detective Agency 1:
The Drained Brains Caper
by Trina Robbins
Raf knows Megan is trouble from the moment she steps into his mom's pet food store asking for a tarantula. But there's one thing you can count on in Chicagoland: weird things happen several times a day. Megan is a vegetarian, manga-reading haiku writer. She definitely doesn't fit in at Stepford Academy, her new summer school. The other students are happy to be in class. Too happy. And everyone looks and acts exactly alike. That's weird. Megan is determined to dig into Stepford's secrets, but soon she's in way too deep. Raf may be the only human being she knows who can help. But with zombified students, very mad scientists, and the school psychiatrist on their trail, they're going to need a whole lot more help. We did say that Chicagoland is weird...
Chicagoland Detective Agency 2:
The Maltese Mummy
*just released April 1st, 2011*Goodreads Blurb:
A friend has vanished, a mummy's amulet is missing, and there's a weirdo out there looking for human brains and hearts. The Chicagoland Detective Agency—run by Megan, Raf, and his talking dog Bradley—have more than enough cases on their hands (and paws). But Megan's too busy for private-detecting. Her haikus have won her tickets to meet drop-dead gorgeous rock star Sun D'Arc. Raf is sure that Sun is too good not to really be bad. He must be involved in one of their cases. But which one?
These are fun books for kids who love the Bone series by Jeff Smith and other comic-style stories. They are surprisingly full of voice and provide an appealing detective story format for middle readers. Despite being in black and white, the graphics (by Tyler Page) are very well done. I love the characters! Megan and Raf are funny and totally likable, and Bradley is too cute for words.
My 3rd grade son and surprisingly, my 6-year-old daughter, enjoyed both books. I recommend them, especially for reluctant readers and comic fans.