Title: The London Eye Mystery
Bibliography: Dowd, Siobhan. (2007). The London Eye Mystery. New York: David Fickling Books.
Short Annotation: This mystery novel is based about a boy named Ted and his sister Kat who solves the mystery of his missing cousin after disappearing on the London Eye.
Genre: Fiction Mystery
Grade Level: 4-6
Readers who will like this book: Children who have varying cultural traditions, children who like learning about other cultures.
Personal response and rating: I thought this novel was a really fast and entertaining read… definitely full of suspense, too. I love London and had fun revisiting places in the story that I’ve been to so I enjoyed this book on a very personal level. There is some slang in the book that may be a bit challenging though for younger readers. Rating: 3
Question: Has anyone ever been lost? Has anyone ever had to work as a detective to find something you’ve lost before?
Bibliographic Information: Wiesner, D. (1991). Tuesday. New York, NY: Clarion Books.
Brief Annotation: Tuesday evening, around eight, the frogs on their lily pads mysteriously begin to rise in the air. After an evening of enjoying their newfound ability to fly, the magic departs. The frogs return to their pond, and the police are left to attempt to deduce a reasonable explanation. Then, the next Tuesday…
Genre: Fantasy; Mystery; Wordless Picture Book (Format)
Grade Level: K-3
Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy mysteries; readers who enjoy fantasy; readers who enjoy filling in the story
Rating/Response: 5; There is a reason this book is still enjoyed over twenty years after its initial publication. Wiesner’s whimsical illustration, utilization of panels, and brief words make this book a delight. Younger children enjoy having a book that they can “read” by themselves; older children are able to notice the details that lend humor to the story.
One question you would ask before a read aloud: For this book, I would ask questions throughout, such as, “Why do you think the frogs can fly?”
Bibliographic Information: Base, G. (1997). The eleventh hour: a curious mystery. New York: Puffin Books.
Short annotation: This is the story of Horace the elephant’s eleventh birthday party and the mystery that happened at his birthday party.
The Genre: Mystery, Picture book
Grade level: Third grade to Fourth grade
Readers who will like this book: A few readers who will enjoy reading this book are children who enjoy reading mystery books, and parents who are looking for a bedtime story.
Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 2; The story line was confusing and the mystery was hard to solve. I did enjoy all the details that were put into the images in the book.
Question: What does the word “mystery” mean?
Fitzhugh, L. (1992). Harriet the spy. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.
Harriet the Spy keeps detective notes on EVERYONE, even her friends! When Harriet loses track of her notebook and it ends up within the grasp of those she writes about, she must find away to piece her friendships, and her life, back together!
Genre: Mystery novel
Readers who would like this: Children who keep a journal, children who enjoy mysteries, children who are enduring life hardships.
Rating and response:5; Although this book is old, I had never read it and had heard some pretty harsh criticisms about it. After finally deciding to read it, I must say I loved the book and think that it involves MUCH more than most give it credit for. This book is not simply about a girl who writes bad things in a notebook about her friends and then when her friends find it and read it, tragedy ensues. This may be the most superficial reading of the book, but deep down this novel involves the tragedies of loss, the hardships that come with class, and the struggle of staying true to one’s own personal beliefs and characteristics. In a way this book is a sort of contemporary realistic fiction; the realistic peer interactions in the book especially led me to discover this. I think children of all backgrounds would be able to relate to and would love to read this book.
Question: How does it feel to be isolated from a friend group? what are some ways in which we can avoid isolating others who we are friends with?
Bibliographic Information: Davies, K. (2010). The Great Hamster Massacre. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Beach Lane Books
Short Annotation: Anna and Tom have always wanted a pet hamster. They kept begging their mom for one, but she kept telling them no. One day, she finally gave in and bought them each a hamster. One of their hamsters had babies, but when Anna and Tom woke up, they found them dead. Anna and Tom must figure out what happened to their hamsters.
Grade level: Second to Third grade.
Audience: Students would like this book.
Personal Rating and Response: I give this book a rating of seven. I liked how these two children wanted to find out what happened to their pet hamsters and they did not give up until they found out what happened.
Question: Do you have any pets?
Wood, A. (2003) Alphabet Mystery. New York, New York: Blue Sky Press
This is a fun story about Charlie’s alphabet. When the letter X leaves after feeling neglected, he ends up playing the castle xylophone for captain M, who ends up wanting to make X and his friends into alphabet soup. X ends up saving everyone and they make it home in time for Charlie’s moms birthday.
Mystery Novel, Alphabet
Readers who want to learn the alphabet; Readers who enjoy mystery stories; Readers who like adventures.
Rate:4; I enjoyed this book, I thought it was a cool way to help children learn the alphabet. It kept my attention the plot of the story was great.
Question: What do you think the book will be about by looking at the cover?
Reading Strategy: Quickwrites
Would have the students form a quick summary of what happened in the story. Making sure they explain why the letter X ran away and what caused giant M to let X after being held captive.
Quickwrite helps the teacher determine whether the students comprehended the story or not.
Title: Where do Balloons Go?
Bibliographic Information: Curtis, J. (2000). Where do balloons go? New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Annotation: This book is all about balloons and where they end up after they are let go. Different possibilities are talked about throughout this book.
Genre: Mystery Novel
Grade level: Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
Readers who will like this book: Young readers who like reading mysterious books will appreciate this book.
Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it really engages the reader by making them think where balloons end up after they are let go. Many exciting different scenarios are provided of what a balloon might do after it is let go.
Question I would ask before the reading: Have you ever let go of a balloon before?