Friday, November 6, 2009

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity. Mac Barnett Adam Rex

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers) by Mac Barnett illus. Adam Rex

I loved this book. Before I get to all the goodness inside that had me laughing and smiling all the way through, I want to start with the cover. I like the cover a lot. It has a nice classic mystery look, making it easier to sell it to customers. Sometimes, as a bookseller one of the hardest or most frustrating things is convincing a customer (especially a kid) that a book is great it's just the cover that's not too hot.

Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that with this book. The cover tells a reader everything they need to know about this book. There's action and danger - the men dropping into the library. There's a mystery to be solved - the magnifying glass and the fingerprint. It's also got some pretty good blurbs. Jeff Kinney and Jon Scieszka. There's even one for adults - Dave Eggers.

When I first saw this book I knew I going read it. It made a serious, no need to wait in line, jump up my reading queue. Novels that fill a void, get read quickly. At first glance I knew The Brixton Brothers would fill many. 1. Its a mystery. You think finding mysteries would be easy but its not. 2. Its a male protagonist. I am always on the look out for books to add to my boy book, my son hates to read, repertoire. 3. Sometimes its hard to find new books for kids who are ready to take that step up from beginning series like Magic Tree House.

12 yr old Steve Brixton loves old Bailey Brothers detective novels. Starring Shawn and Kevin Bailey. (think Hardy Boys) When Steve tries to check out the illus. History of American Quilting, he' s mistaken for a detective and a bad guy. Several librarians descend on the library. Steve makes it out, and runs into Mr. Mackintosh, a librarian. Mr. Mackintosh tell Steve's librarians are the most elite secret service force in the United States.

The quilting book was under librarian surveillance, it holds the clue to the location of a vital piece of information. When Steve tired to check it out, the alarm was triggered. Now the librarians believe he is working for Mr. E., the man after U.S. secrets. Steve refuses to call himself a detective but he's going to solve the case to clear his name.

This book was so much fun. I loved it. Thoughout the novel, when Steve gets into a jam, he'd think what would Brixton Brothers do? He tired it the Brixton Brother way several times and it never worked. Once Steve needed to make a quick escape, so he followed Shawn and Kevin's guide to making rope. He fell to the ground. Steve solves the mystery, no thanks to the Brixton Brothers.

Barnett's writing is great. I love the books humor, its a smart and sophisticated funny for young readers . I appreciate that the author doesn't underestimate, his readers ability to get the jokes. There is some great action as well. Steve must escape from the police station after librarians put out a wanted for treason poster with his picture on it. Also Steve and his best friend Dana, must escape from a boat. The two are kidnapped and tied to chairs. Rex's illustrations are wonderful. They add to the books, this is pretty close to perfect feel. Ages 8up.

Reluctant readers will love it. The chapters are short about 5 pages each, so it a great suggestion for struggling readers as well.


Charlotte said...

Sounds like another one for my list! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Doret, I was going to email you to find a good mystery for a boys afterschool reading workshop, so this review is just in time!