Emma, the plucky investigative journalist–to-be, is back with another story to report.
Fresh off of her last mystery solved, Emma has attained her much-longed-for celebrity status at school. When strange things happen, students turn to Emma for help. She unravels each case by searching for clues and recording her findings in video news reports. Now her friends Sophia and Javier have joined her reporting team. The three of them come up with a group costume idea for the upcoming Halloween party that is sure to win the grand prize. When Sophia’s costume goes missing, Emma is on the hunt. She tracks down the costume bandit one clue at a time, learning in the process how to keep her own bias separate from her reporting. Supportive adults, age-appropriate comedy, and a gentle lesson about standing up for oneself round out the main plot. The short chapters and occasional grayscale illustrations will keep young independent readers engaged. Emma’s genuine self-confidence is refreshing. She is proud of her Latina heritage and bilingualism and joyfully refers to her curly hair as “long chocolate-pudding Slinkies.” In this installment, Siegal has toned down Emma’s drive for fame from obsession to ambition, making her all the more likable.
The series continues to be noteworthy. (Fiction. 6-8)