Who Stole Travada?
Casual readers of this saggy mystery will never know who stole Travada, a robot invented by Lennie and Curie Hawkins's father. Several toy companies arrive at the Hawkins's auction to buy rights to the robot, but the family is aware that toy pirates might try to manufacture Travada cheaply overseas. The mystery is all talk until page 84, when the robot finally disappears. Readers must try to assemble clues and then mail a solution to ""Curie.'' The correct solution might win a contest; regardless, it will appear in a forthcoming book of the Lennie and Curie Hawkins Whodunit? Mystery Reading Game series. While cover copy claims to encourage reading skills, the loose narrative and forgettable characters will teach some readers more about giving up than buckling in. Ages 8-12. (September)