Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11

N. Griffin, illus. by Kate Hindley. Candlewick, $15.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6145-8
Third-grader Smashie McPerter faces the wrath of her classmates when Patches, their beloved class hamster, goes missing, in this lively, funny mystery. Mr. Carper, the students’ ridiculous substitute teacher, who has a hilarious penchant for nicknames (Athletic-Looking Boy, Girl with the Socks, etc.), loathes thinking, and cares only about his aspiring modeling career. When Smashie—eccentric, spontaneous, and the only student who doesn’t like Patches—is blamed for the hamster’s disappearance, she knows she must solve the mystery, aided by Dontel, her best friend. Griffin (The Whole Stupid Way We Are) uses humor to tackle issues most children grapple with at some point, and Hindley’s (How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth) loose b&w sketches play up the madcap energy at Rebecca Lee Crumpler Elementary School. Smashie’s earnestness is sometimes absurd (“We have to question me closely”), but her positive energy and determination are impressive. Readers will be learning and laughing heartily as Smashie dons her “Investigator Suit” and uses “thinking power” to try to prove herself. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. Illustrator’s agent: Jodie Hodges, United Agents. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/10/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7636-9097-7
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