Middle Grade Monday is a feature started right here at Reading Nook. It's a way to share news or reviews of middle grade novels on a blog that doesn't exclusively post middle grade content. Feel free to join any time and link up.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (I really love this cover. It's a lot of fun!)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Page Count: 368 p.
Buy it: Book Depository | Indie | Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
Sophie and Grace like to play at being spies. On one of their nightly escapades they spy something sinister through a neighbor's window. They see a teacher hacking someone to bits...well they see lots of blood and her with a huge knife. Turns out that she was making pickled beets. Something is still sort of off about Dr. Agford though, and the girls are convinced that she is up to no good. They really don't have any proof though, all they have is a hunch. A hunch might prove to be good enough though.
This book is one you won't want to put down. From the very beginning things are fast-paced and exciting. There is also the "you never know" aspect that keeps things exciting. Even when the clues point one way, some clever misdirection points another way.
I liked Sophie, but I didn't care too much for Grace. Grace seemed a bit superficial and there was something a bit too eager about her that I found off-putting. She wasn't necessarily bad, but she tired me. Sophie seemed like a regular tween. A little excitable, but also level-headed in some cases. I really enjoyed Trista even though she had a big personality. She was just loud and proud and ultimately a fun, smart character. Really, Kristen Kittscher did a great job with every single character. They each had their parts to play and they all played them well.
I think this would be a great read for boys and girls. Some may be a bit off-put by the friendship issues, but it may be helpful too. Ultimately this was a really fun mystery that had me second-guessing myself on more than one occasion. Definitely check it out if you're looking for a little predicament in your reading.
"I thought I'd mastered the art of escape."
"'At one point she went after the school librarian. The librarian! Could there be a more noble soul?'"
(doesn't have to be posted on a Monday)