Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn

genre: middle grade mystery

When Logan arrives at his new home, saying that he felt "disappointed" would be an understatement. The house is a royal dump and his neighbor Arthur seems to be exactly the kind of nerdy kid Logan would like to avoid at his new middle school. Not only that, but the first thing Arthur tells him is that the previous owner of Logan's new house was murdered - right in that very dumpy house.

But the murder was never solved and Arthur is convinced that it has something to do with a bunch of money that was stolen and an old, run-down amusement park. Can Logan and Arthur figure out what happened before the park is torn down for good?

This was a surprisingly interesting story! I read this book because my daughter chose it for a big project for her sixth grade reading class but half way through, I was totally engaged. For a murder mystery it wasn't graphic or particularly upsetting at all, but it had intense moments and several good twists. I particularly liked the scenes in the creepy old amusement park (which is suspiciously VERY familiar - the author lives in my town!). The was no foul language and I liked the plot thread about friendships and standing up for people. There is some domestic abuse but it was handled with, I thought, the right amount of disgust. Great for mystery lovers ages 10+.

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