cover image Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Kirby Larson. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-545-84056-9

It’s 1910, and Audacity Jones is living in a struggling home for “wayward girls” in Swayzee, Ind., when a frequent donor, Commodore Crutchfield, arrives asking for a volunteer for a secret mission. Sharp-witted and well-read, Audie has her doubts about a man “who seemed to have no idea that mainsails were never lashed together with ropes” and “that the rank of Commodore had last been used by the United States Navy eleven years prior,” but she also has a taste for adventure. Before they leave, her favorite chocolate-striped cat, Miniver, slips into the Commodore’s car and becomes an integral part of this delightful historical mystery from Larson (Dash). Audie winds up in the nation’s capital where she makes several friends, including newsboy Juice and his grandfather, who works in the White House stable. Larson’s entertaining narration shifts attention among multiple characters amid the unfolding mystery of what, exactly, the Commodore is planning. First in a series, Larson’s thriller deftly mixes humor, heart-pounding moments, and a strongly evoked historical setting—it’s truly a story with something for everyone. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Grinberg Literary Management. (Jan.)