Review Detail

Solve These Mysteries!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Short story collections are hard to review, especially when one includes so many fantastic authors! My students will be glad to see new FunJungle and Riley Mack stories, and skip ahead to the entries by Ponti, Lerangis, and Milford, whom they know well. Alane Ferguson's Forensic Mysteries (2006) are SO popular in my library, and I haven't seen much from her lately, so it was good to have an entry from her. Add Fleur Bradley, Lamar Giles, Bruce Hale, and Tyler Whitesides, along with several authors I really need to investigate now, and this book will fly off the shelf. Short stories collections don't do terribly well in my library, with one notable exception: scary stories and mysteries.
Good Points
There's a nice mix of types of stories in this. Some area little goofy (like the triplet uncles in Magaziner's Three Brothers, Two Sisters, and One Cup of Poison) and some, like Ferguson's The Scary Place are a little more chilling, but none are super scary. This is mainly because stories incorporate a lot of unlikey clues, and have the reader trying to figure out the mystery. The answers to which are provided at the back, ala Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown books. I wonder if children will be better at guessing the mysteries than I was. Once you read the solution, it's so obvious, but I don't have much success in solving the mysteries.

This is a great book not only for students, but for teachers who want to do in class read alouds and want to challenge their students' critical thinking skills. Puzzletastic Mysteries will be right at home on a shelf with Half Minute Horrors, Alvin Schwartz, and of course, Encyclopedia Brown.
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