Thursday, February 23, 2012

Under Cover #9

Time to check in and see what mysteries our detectives are reading!

 Kristen Kittscher: I just finished Elise Broach’s SHAKESPEARE'S SECRET and am now beating myself up I hadn’t read it earlier. I think, from the title, I feared it would a little dry. It was anything but, and now I’ve missed out on seven years of recommending this book! Broach makes storytelling look effortless in this untraditional middle grade mystery about a girl who investigates the connection between a diamond allegedly hidden in her new house and Edward de Vere, a man some believe wrote Shakespeare’s plays. The mystery is straightforward and simple, yet the emotions Broach taps into are multi-layered. I was also especially impressed with how Broach weaves in scholarly details with a light touch. If I were still teaching middle school English, I would have added this to my reading list in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to read Masterpiece  --  I already felt this was one.

Diana Renn: Intrigued by some buzz I'd heard about this book, I just bought TRAFFICKED, by Kim Purcell. The first page grabbed me right away and now I can't put it down. Its premise involves one of the most horrifying types of crime I can imagine: human trafficking. Hannah, a teen from Moldova, has suffered the loss of her parents (they were killed) and her uncle (vanished -- a mystery she hopes to solve). So she seizes the opportunity to nanny for a family in Los Angeles. A nightmare unfolds when she finds herself stranded in the U.S. with false documents and no wages, a domestic slave working 16-hour-days. She is not permitted to leave the house. This is a work of fiction based on real situations. The author is donating 20% of the book's proceeds to organizations that help human trafficking victims in the U.S. and around the world.
W. H. Beck: I recently read WITCHES: THE ABSOLUTE TRUE TALE OF DISASTER IN SALEM by Rosalyn Schanzer. This nonfiction book (which won a 2011 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor) is an account of the true-life mystery of the witch trials in colonial Salem village in the 1600's. The story is fascinating--how a few twitching girls could cause such mass hysteria that brought about the death of so many of their neighbors and relatives! The book chronicles the events of that year through quotes and original source materials and is wonderfully readable. In fact, with the author's chilling scratchboard illustrations in black, white, and red, this is a book that'll suck in the most reluctant reader. The tale ends with a few possible explanations, but leaves the mystery unsolved. Readers may find themselves wanting to learn even more. I know I did.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been reading much lately -- still recovering from a nasty eye inflammation that limits my eye usage :( -- but Trafficked looks good! I am adding that to my VERY LONG list of to-read-when-I-am-better!


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