Fellow Librarians: Our cover is blown!

February 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (The Brixton Brothers, Book 1), written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex; published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York; 2009.

The mistaken identity, as intimated in the title, is that 12-year-old Steve Brixton is a detective.  When his teacher, Ms. Gilfeather, assigns him a weekend report on early American needlework, a series of mysteries, clues and adventure ensue.  The mystery and adventure will definitely appeal to upper elementary readers; but the humor will be more accessible to older readers, like maybe parents.  Steve’s heroes are characters obviously based on the Hardy Boys; pertinent places and things that Steve searches for include The Red Herring Tavern and the Maguffin quilt (adults will get the subtext here).  I am thrilled that Librarians are described as “the guardians of knowledge” and “Librarians are just about the only thing holding this country together.”  Yes, Librarians are secret service agents, entrusted with the sacred trust to protect intelligence.

Of course this book should be paired with Peck’s Here Lies the Librarian and other fiction about how librarians change lives.  But it also would make an interesting selection for a middle school book club, including an activity like making a book-box (where Steve hides his treasured detective notebook).  Perhaps it would be a great first selection for a family book discussion program!  It also would make a terrific read-aloud, chapter by chapter, in an elementary library, for grades 3-5; even middle school librarians may use it, in weeks without an information literacy lesson.

With endorsements from Jeff Kinney and Jon Scieszka, a funny story with a 12 year old protagonist, and references to the Hardy Boys mysteries (even on the illustrated end pages), this is a must-read book!


Entry filed under: for reluctant readers.

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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