Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Case of the Crooked Carnival by Michele Torrey

The Case of the Crooked Carnival
by Michele Torrey
Copyright 2010
Sterling Publishing - Children's (Middle Reader)
92 pages

From the publisher:

Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, are fifth-grade crime-fighting science detectives, and the two best friends solve mysteries in their home lab – by analyzing the evidence, developing a hypothesis, and testing out their theories. In The Case of the Crooked Carnival, Drake and Nell will take readers on four exciting new whodunits: Are ghosts and ghouls keeping Edgar Glum awake? Have aliens invaded Mossy Swamp? What’s the crooked game everyone’s losing at the carnival? And why is the town bridge going bananas?

The Case of the Crooked Carnival is the 5th in the Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives, series. I'd never heard of the books until this one arrived in the mail, a surprise from Sterling Kids. I sat right down to read it immediately and absolutely loved it .

A middle reader with short chapters, The Case of the Crooked Carnival is easily readable by children of many ages and excellent for educational use. I wouldn't limit the reading to the ages specified: 9-12. At least one of my children would have probably enjoyed this book by the time he was 5 or 6 and even older kids who find science frustrating or just enjoy a good story might get a kick out of this series. There is nothing annoyingly childish or cutesie about this particular title. It's funny but intelligently written. The two young science detectives solve four different mysteries using science principles and then the latter third of the book is devoted to setting up your own lab (what to gather, where to put it) and how to do some simple experiments.

I would have loved to have the Doyle and Fossey series available when I was homeschooling my eldest son. Also, it doesn't matter that The Case of the Crooked Carnival is the 5th in a series. The author does a great job of filling in readers so that they get a decent understanding of how the two science detectives work and why they are interested in science (both have a parent working in a science field). The author is a microbiologist and immunologist and I believe her love of science and her sense of humor are both evident in this delightful series.

Bottom line: Science is made fun in this humorous book that would make a great addition to any home library. Especially recommended for teachers, homeschooling parents, and kids old enough to handle "chapter" books.

Gushy thanks to Sterling Kids for the review copy!

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  1. I would have loved this series when I was young!

  2. Kathy,

    You'd probably still love it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Case of the Crooked Carnival. :)

  3. okay may have to check out this series at the library the next time I go. :)


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