By now most kids are finished with school and ready for the lazy days of summer. To keep their minds from turning to mush many parents like to pick up some great books for their child to read, instead of letting them vegetate in front of the TV or video games all day.
As a parent I always try and encourage my children to read. My daughter is good about reading, but my son is a “reluctant reader”. It’s hard to find books that interest him enough to want to read them.
I like books that are not only entertaining but also challenge their minds. Mysteries are always a great choice. When I was younger I used to love to read the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books (I actually liked the Hardy Boys more :-)). I love trying to figure out “who done it” along with the junior detectives.
There is a new book that will be released on June 18, 2013 that is not only a great mystery story, but also a fun read.
The book is called The Wig in the Window. It’s written by Kristen Kittscher.
The Wig in the Window (Harper Children’s) is the first in a funny new mystery series for kids ages 8 – 12 that will appeal to precocious readers who enjoy humor, clever clues, and fun plot twists!
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (also known as Dr. Awkward).
At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets! But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.
Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. But even if they solve the case, will their unlikely friendship survive?
Check out the video trailer for the book.
I think at one point or another most children try their hand at being a super sleuth and solving mysteries. What I liked most about this book is that it’s not your typical “cookie cutter” middle grade mystery. Not only that, the mystery the girls are trying to solve is a bit more complex than “Who stole the cookie” or “Who took the homework” sort of thing. It’s a bit more complex and more involved than that, which is why I think this would appeal to today’s kids who are more into the “Hitchcock meets Harriet the Spy” than silly who done it stories.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sophisticated plot that ‘tweens can’t comprehend, like you might find in a book geared toward teens. The content is totally age appropriate.
I had my daughter read the book for me as well. As first she was reluctant because she’s 16 and this book is below her reading level, but I talked her into it. She’s into the more complex stories, having just finished books like The Fault in Our Stars, Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska.
My daughter said she enjoyed the book. When I asked her to describe it for me she said “Fun”. When I asked her to go into it a bit more for me she said it was a funny book, she liked the characters, it was interesting to read and she enjoyed reading it. She told me if she was younger this would be the kind of book she would take out from the library. She also said it would make a great series.
I tried to convince my 13 year old son to read the book, since it’s geared towards children around his age, but he wouldn’t go for it. He told me if the story involved teenage boys he might be interested.
This book has been compared to the Sammy Keyes books due to it’s clever clues and humor.
I read the book too. I think this book would really appeal to ‘tween girls. It’s not just about solving a mystery, but also the ups and downs of friendships. I also think girls would enjoying reading about other girls who are smart, creative and resourceful.
I would like to see more of Sophie and Grace. I think their characters would make for a delightful series of books.
Here is what others have had to say about the book.
“A witty, weird, and wonderful book, The Wig in the Window’s troublemaking detectives kept me laughing–while the suspense had me inching to the edge of my seat. A perfect middle grade mystery!” – Kirsten Miller, New York Times bestselling author of the Kiki Strike series
“Funny, realistic, and suspenseful — a pitch-perfect mystery for the tween set.” – Kate Messner, author of Capture the Flag
The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. It won’t be released until June 18, 2013.
*I received a free sample copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.