Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
3.0

Teen Boy Hijinks

Since Jarod was made Lord Kentwood, his extended family is being kept at the mansion for fear that someone will steal the items that they have inherited. There is a clause in the grandfather's will that any item not wanted by a family member must be offered to another family member first, so Jarod ends up buying some stocks and bonds from his uncle, who is being rude and unpleasant. Along with his cousin Tommy, Jarod is investigating wearing the magic socks of his grandfather's along with the shoes of other people, so he can hear what they are thinking. Needing a break from the family, and wanting to use some of the inheritance, the boys invite some cheerleaders from school out for pizza. This is a good idea, because Jarod gets to hang out with a girl he likes, but a bad idea because the group gets attacked and cousin Frederick is kidnapped. With the help of butler Brindley, Jarod and Tommy attempt to rescue Frederick, seeking help from their grandfather's ghost along the way.

Good Points
It was nice to get a break from the family drama and see what Jarod's ordinary life was like. Of course, it you are holed up in a mansion for your own safety, going out to eat pizza might not be the best choice! It was also nice to have some more action and adventure, and fighting off the bad guys certainly makes this book more exciting than the first one.

The boys' reactions to the girls is realistic. There need to be more books that have light romance in them from the boys' perspectives. Jarod and Tommy are very different, but play against each other very well in both dealing with girls and in trying to rescue their cousin.

Mischief Before Mastery has an interesting blend of ghosts, family drama, and teen boy hijinks, and will be a good choice for readers who like Korman's Son of the Mob or perhaps Raskin's The Westing Game.
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