Someone has been stealing strawberry plants, but don't worry the West Meadows Detectives--Myron and Hajrah--are on the case in this first chapter mystery.
Published by Owlkids Books
Published in 2020
The reader is introduced to the crime when Hajrah arrives at school and leads Myron (the protagonist) over 'to the far side of the yard.' (p. 9) The school garden has been damaged and not only that but strawberry plants have been stolen. Simone, the senior student in charge of the strawberry plants, becomes their client.
Myron and Simone learn that they have something in common. They are both autistic. For this is not only a mystery but the story also serves to increase the awareness and understanding of autism.
Young readers learn that people with autism don't like changes to their routines and feel, as Myron explains, like their senses are 'on overload all the time.' (p. 59)
Readers also learn that some people with autism use gardening to help them cope with daily stressors.
This story has a well-developed plot and employs writing techniques to ensure a positive reading experience. For example, Myron reviewing the case with Hajrah is a good way to share information with the reader. Reviewing the case also helps to summarize what has happened in the story. Chapter ten ends with a cliffhanger which gives the reader yet another reason to keep reading. My only concern is that the overabundance of characters in this book may be confusing for some readers.
West Meadows Detectives: The Case of the Berry Burglars is an engaging and intriguing mystery. And the best news yet, it's part of a series.
Wednesday, January 20
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