cover image The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City

The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City

Tara Lazar, illus. by Ross MacDonald. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-368027-65-6

In a follow-up to 7 Ate 9, trouble comes to Capital City when every one of its namesake capital letters—except for Private I—disappear. Prompted by Question Mark and Exclamation, Private I immediately tackles the Upper Case. Punctuated by ample wordplay (“Hyphen was busy dashing around town”), Private I searches the city high and low for leads, finally spying the missing caps on a movie theater marquee. A twist reveals that Exclamation is “crooked,” having made false promises of cinema fame to the capital letters in exchange for a little quiet. Peace is restored and Exclamation “straightened out” with assistance from the Grammar Police. Though many of the jokes are unlikely to resonate with readers at the lower end of the age range, Lazar hits every mark of a traditional detective story, and MacDonald’s illustrations place readers on the scene of a Technicolor retro gumshoe drama. Ages 3–5. [em](Oct.) [/em]