Patrick Carman. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-545-25519-6
Carman (the Skeleton Creek series) delivers a madcap mystery reminiscent of Roald Dahl and Ellen Raskin, complete with bizarre inventions, a mystery involving a missing billionaire and his fortune, and even a crazy elevator or two. At New York City's Whippet Hotel, guests stay in rooms like the Pinball Machine—featuring giant flippers, bumpers, and pinballs—and the Central Park Room, an exact reproduction of the famed park. When Leo Fillmore, the 10-year-old son of the hotel's maintenance man and himself an assistant maintenance crew member, discovers a mysterious purple box while walking the hotel's ducks, he embarks on a mystery that has him sneaking into hidden rooms, evading a pesky six-year-old and other guests, and riding a train through a tunnel of fire. With the help of his friend Remi and a tiny, talkative robot named Blop, Leo discovers more boxes and more mysteries while trying to avoid running afoul of the hotel's shrewish manager, Ms. Sparks. Sparks, a one-note nemesis, is one of the book's rare sour notes, but Carman delivers so much fun that readers aren't likely to notice. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-545-46092-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-777-3
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-906427-90-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-39070-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-39069-9
Prebound-Glued - 261 pages - 978-0-606-26732-8
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-545-38840-5
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