by Mike Carroll and Illustrated by Heidi Emily Adams
The Search for Sparkles: A Mystery Club Adventure is, as the title alludes, a mystery chapter book. As a lover of mysteries, it is exciting to see some books written for a younger audience. (Might as well get them hooked early, right?) This is the first of what I assume is a series of mysteries centered around the two main characters, Sabrina and Amanda. The book was about 40 pages long and included fun illustrations.
The Search for Sparkles is about sisters Amanda and Sabrina who love to read. Their favorite genre is mysteries. When Sparkles, the neighbors’ dog, disappears, Amanda and Sabrina set off to follow the clues. With the help of their twin cousins, Eddie and Sam, they eventually find and return Sparkles to her grateful owner.
This book reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries I read growing up. The book is definitely solvable, which I think is important for kids, although it may feel a little obvious to the adults listening. There is a lot of exposition, explaining not only the main characters, but the small town and its inhabitants as well. This makes sense as I assume there are more books to come.
The format and illustrations are cute. The book is made to look like the mystery notebook the main characters use. So the font looks handwritten and has the appearance of lined paper, making the reader feel as if they are part of the story. The various clues are old-style, with a cut-from-the-newspaper look, which is clever.
Overall, The Search for Sparkles spent a lot of time developing characters and background information. The mystery is age appropriate. The pictures are engaging and really add to the story. The Search for Sparkles is a great book to look for in your library!
To see more about the book, please visit mysteryclubadventures.com.
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