Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: Maisy and the Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum

Maisy and the Missing MiceMaisy and the Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum (@ewoodrumauthor)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't had much luck finding interesting self-published books. I'm happy to say that Maisy and the Missing Mice has finally changed my experience with self-published books. I purchased the Kindle version of this book for $2.99 in order to preview it. However there are print copies of the book available for $5.85 through Amazon as well, and I will be purchasing a copy of this book for my school library collection.

Woodrum has created a likable character in Maisy, a mystery solving fourth grader with an affinity for cherry flavored lollipops. In Maisy and the Missing Mice, Maisy tries to solve the mystery surrounding who kidnapped her school's mascots, two adorable and well loved mice. As soon as Maisy and the rest of the school find out about the missing mice, Maisy is on the case. The kidnapper tries to throw Maisy off his trail by stealing her lollipop stash and leaving notes, warning her to stay away. But Maisy remains undeterred until the mystery is solved.

I enjoyed the way the author describes how Maisy works a case. For example, whenever Maisy is focused on solving a mystery, she no longer sees the world in color. Instead, Maisy imagines everything in black and white, as if she's in one of those mystery movies from long ago, giving the book a film noir feeling. She even uses a typewriter when typing up her notes because it helps her focus on the case.

The writing in Maisy and the Missing Mice is just right for children in grades 2 through 4, and perhaps even for first graders who are advanced readers. It's a great book to suggest to children who enjoy reading books like Nate the Great and Olivia Sharp.

This book would also be appropriate to use in the classroom or school library as a read aloud when studying the mystery genre. I think there are also opportunities for teachers and school librarians to work on making inferences as well as text-to-text comparisons with other mystery books, such as Nate the Great.

I'm really looking forward to the second book in this series.

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