cover image The Powwow Thief (Powwow Mystery Series #1)

The Powwow Thief (Powwow Mystery Series #1)

Joseph Bruchac, illus. by Dale Deforest. Reycraft, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4788-6868-2

This early chapter book with a picture book trim size, the first installment of the Powwow Mystery Series, features twins Jamie and Marie Longbow, who are traveling to powwows this summer with their grandparents to sell Grama’s wares. Jamie excels at tree climbing, while Marie loves to read and memorize facts about birds. When Grama’s best necklace is stolen at the Little Eagle powwow grounds, the first powwow they visit, it’s up to the twins and their respective talents to help solve the case. Bruchac (Brothers of the Buffalo), an enrolled member of the Nulhegan Bank of the Abenaki nation, offers a well-paced introduction of the characters and elements of the powwow over the four chapters. While the foreshadowing may be a bit transparent (“ ‘It’s okay,’ Grampa said as he danced past them. ‘Sleepy Mickey is watching the booth.’ ”), the identity of the thief and the resolution still prove satisfying. Deforest, who was raised on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, contributes boldly outlined and brightly colored digital illustrations in an accessible comic-book style that will likely entice reluctant readers. Ages 8–up.[em] (Oct.) [/em]