While Sal drinks her lemonade and mine, I scout around the backyard looking for clues. I take photos of the clothesline and the garden path. I pace out the distance between the side gate and the clothesline. Mmmm, tricky. To get down the side of the house the thief would have to pass the kitchen.
Jo (Jonah) Berludi is a private inevstigator. He may be only eight, but when he’s dressed in his detective kit people think he’s older – especially when they see his business card.
When Jo’s neighbour, Mrs Pickwick, has a problem with underwear disappearing from her washing line, she calls Jo in to solve the case. It isn’t easy to figure out – especially when the mystery keeps getting bigger. Who would want size 26 underwear? And why is fresh fruit going missing from the fruit store around the corner? Still, with Jo on the case it isn’t long before it is solved.
Jo Berludi is a cute chapter book title, part of the Breakers series from Macmillan Education. Aimed at children with a reading age of around nine years, it has plenty of action and mystery to appeal to young readers. The line drawings of Jeff Gilmour are a nice addition.
A fun read.
Jo Berludi, by Liz Flaherty
Macmillan Education, 2003
Lizzie hesitated – she didn’t know whether to go forwards or backwards. Should she get Mum and Dad? Tears sprang to her eyes as she thought of their parents sleeping peacefully in the beach shack, only a few minutes away. They’d know what to do.
Lizzie and her brother Nick are unimpressed about the poachers stripping the fish stocks in the area. When Lizzie sees two strange men hanging around the beach at night, she is determined to do something about it. With Nick, she tracks down the suspicious characters and sets about proving their guilt.
It is not easy keeping track of the poachers and collecting evidence against them, especially when you are keeping what you are doing a secret from your parents. Tracking smugglers can be very dangerous – as Lizzie and Nick find out.
Something Fishy is a fast moving title in the Breakers series from Macmillan Education. While parents (and teachers) might shudder at the thought of two young children chasing criminals – including a boat trip at night – kids will enjoy the excitement of the plot and the fact that Lizzie and Nick triumph over the bad guys.
A gripping read for 8 to 10 year old readers.
Something Fishy, by Liz Flaherty
Macmillan Education, 2003
Tom is appalled when he discovers a big pimple on his chin. After all, he is only eleven. He grabs some cream from the bathroom cupboad and slathers it on. Not a good move. Soon his chin is covered in lumps and bumps. His Mum takes a trip to the pharmacy, but it seems each new potion cures one problem only to cause a brand new one. Tom starts to get suspicious when he realises the labels on the different treatments have a similarity. He sets out to solve the mystery.
Mysteruous Eruptions is a humorous story which takes every child’s nightmares of pimples and other bodily mishaps – and makes them ten times worse. The action is fast and far-fetched, making it a sure winner for kids aged 10 to 12.
Mysterious Eruptions is part of the Breakers series from Macmillan Education and is suitable for classroom reading and private enjoyment.
Mysterious Eruptions, by Liz Flaherty
Macmillan Education, 2004