King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor
Thor has been accused of wrecking Mr. Gary’s yard―knocking over trash cans, eating the vegetables out of the garden, and pooping. But King and Kayla, with the help of some other neighbors, are determined to clear his name, using a wide variety of familiar and new detecting skills.
With simple, straightforward language and great verbal and visual humor, the King & Kayla series from Geisel Honor Award-winning team Dori Hillestad Butler and Nancy Meyers is perfect for newly independent readers.
This is the sixth book in the series, which starts with King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats (2017). I was glad to see this series when it first came out, since there were not many early chapter books with Black characters. While the stories don't really touch on aspects of Black life or culture and are more concerned with King and the mysteries, it is worth noting that neither the author nor illustrator are Black.
This is a great read for elementary school students who are just starting to get into longer books and are not quite reading for the complexity of the cases in Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown books, and is also good for struggling middle school readers.