cover image School Spirit Sabotage: A Brian and Pea Brain Mystery

School Spirit Sabotage: A Brian and Pea Brain Mystery

Elizabeth Levy. HarperCollins Publishers, $14 (87pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023407-2

This lightweight mystery introduces an appealing team of sibling sleuths. Brian, a conservative-minded second grader and his lively, kindergartener sister Penny, nicknamed ``Pea Brain,'' are about to embark on School Spirit Week. Before long, however, it appears that someone is trying to sabotage the annual event: the principal's Elvis wig is stolen on ``1950s Day'' and the kindergarten's cocoon collection is given black bow ties on ``Dress Up Day.'' Though the various clues and pieces of the mystery don't hang together all that tightly, Brian and Pea Brain's efforts to get to the bottom of things are spirited, and their relationship is both lifelike and agreeable, particularly when each sibling secretly suspects the other of being the perpetrator. A not especially satisfying solution to the mystery implicates a new girl, who misses her old school and hopes that her antics will get her kicked out and transferred back. Despite the gaps and discrepancies in the plot, the fast pace and gentle humor that are the hallmarks of the popular author of Dracula Is a Pain in the Neck will provide ample entertainment. Ages 7-10. (May)