Friday, October 28, 2016

Book review - The Case of Maker Mischief

Title: The Case of Maker Mischief
Author: Liam O'Donnell
Genre: Mystery
Similar books: The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
                     The Ghost and Max Monroe by L.M. Falcone
a nice little mystery

Summary (provided by publisher): Myron, the third-grade detective who loves logic, facts, and solving mysteries, gets the chance to crack another case when he finds out his classmate Jordan’s robot has been stolen. Jordan and tech-savvy Danielle, known as “Glitch,” had been working on it for weeks for the upcoming Maker Faire Robot Maze Challenge.
Together with his detective partner, the hyper-energetic Hajrah, Myron pins down two suspects: Sarah “Smasher” McGintley, the school bully, and Lionel Amar, another robot builder who was caught with Jordan and Glitch’s plans. But after investigating the case further, they find out the thief is someone entirely unexpected.
Myron’s unique perspective from the autism spectrum and his eye for detail make him a top-notch sleuth. Similarly, the other neurodiverse kids in his resource room demonstrate creative problem solving and unique talents that come in handy for the case.
Black-and-white spot illustrations accompany the text in this fun and accessible page-turner for independent readers. With a connection to STEAM and the maker movement, this book is an exciting next installment in the West Meadows Detectives series.

My opinion: Characterization in this novel is minimal but that can be excused by both the reading level (it skews towards early elementary) which leaves little room for character development and Myron's ASD. Given that the story is told largely from his perspective, it's not entirely unexpected that the narrative focuses more on facts, details, and cause and effect than in details of personality or interpersonal relationships. While this can lead to some disconnect between the reader and the story and this age level that's less of a hindrance than it would be for older readers. As a mystery, it's pretty solid. Plenty of clues, red herrings, and a logical progression of events. Additionally, this is the second book in a series. Even without reading the first book I was easily able to follow the plot and distinguish characters.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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