Splash Pad Sabotage (Hardy Boys Clue Book #17)

Splash Pad Sabotage (Hardy Boys Clue Book #17)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
July 11, 2024
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Detective brothers Frank and Joe stop a splash pad saboteur in the seventeenth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.

Frank and Joe are looking for ways to beat the heat on their summer vacation, so they’re super excited about the opening of Bayport’s new Splash and Dash Pad. But on their second visit, they find that the fountains are overrun with bubbles! The park director announces that the pad will stay closed until he finds the culprit who poured soap down the drains, so the boys pull out their clue book to search for the Bayport Bubbler.

Were the kids who wanted a bike ramp instead of a splash pad trying to ruin the opening? Or perhaps this is a publicity stunt to promote Lucy Lafferty’s new bubble lemonade. The suspects are piling up higher than the bubbles, but if anyone can find the sudsy saboteur, it’s the Hardy brothers!

Editor review

1 review
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
It's summer, so Frank and Joe are hanging out in Bayport, with their friend Chet. They Chet's sister Iola walking dogs, Lucy selling tapioca lemonade, and local bullies Adam, Seth, and Tony terrorizing the area with their skateboarding. The Hardys are excited about the new splash pad, and arrive early for the grand opening. Unfortunately, Adam and his gang ride in the middle of the ceremony because they are angry that the community put in the splash pad instead of a skate park. When the splash pad is filled with soap bubbles, our intrepid investigators set out to find out who would sabotage the brand new community area. They check up on Phil, who is going to a space camp and has a nonpopable bubble recipe in the works as his project. Their friend Chet is suspect because he doesn't want to leave his house. Could Lucy have had a hand in the soapy scourge, or is she too busy selling her bubble lemonade recipe? Adam's skateboarding gang seems the likeliest candidates, but some clever sleuthing discovers that their tire tracks are different from the ones found at the scene of the crime. When Frank and Joe finally root out Chet, they find he has accidentally washed his hair with Puppy Poo, which is shampoo meant for dogs, and it's so goofy he's ashamed to go out. What do Chet and Iola have to do with the Puppy Poo bottles found near the scene of the crime? A page at the end of the book gives young sleuths a moment to reflect on the clues before letting us know the answer.

Good Points
There's a great feeling of community, and Frank and Joe are known to all of their neighbors, so able to conduct thorough investigations. They learn interesting things about bubble lemonade, are allowed in to the space camp, and even try to investigate the local thugs without prejudice. (Although I'm not sure what Adam and his friends are complaining about. I thought that Bayport HAD a skate park, but it's been a long time since I've read A Skateboard Cat-astrophe (#6). They are clever, having the gang ride across chalk sidewalk art to get their wheel imprints!

There have been any number of iterations of the Hardy Boys franchise, and this short chapter book series is perfect for younger elementary school readers who have worked their way through all of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries. Frank and Joe are in good company with other young sleuths like Winston's Wednesday and Woof, Kate and Mike from Kelly's Ballpark Mysteries, and Adler's Cam Jansen.
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