Fancy Nancy is back, this time in a chapter book.
Nancy Clancy loves fancy words here as much as she does in her popular picture-book series. Her interests are changing, though, as she grows up. An avid Nancy Drew fan, she and best friend Bree have a new Sleuth Headquarters and are excited to solve their first case. When their teacher’s special blue marble disappears, everyone in the class becomes a suspect. Their targets of suspicion change from moment to moment, leading the new detectives on a number of wild goose chases. When the real criminal is uncovered, the girls are forced to examine their assumptions. Fans of the Fancy Nancy series will enjoy reading about an old friend in a new, more grown-up setting. Fully fleshed-out secondary characters, especially Nancy’s parents and Mr. Dudeny, Nancy’s teacher, create a nice backdrop for this new series aimed at transitioning readers. It’s hard to write mysteries for a chapter-book audience, but O’Connor creates a plot with subtle clues and red herrings that allow readers to puzzle out the mystery along with Nancy. Nancy’s love of colorful language makes it fun to discover new vocabulary (motive, accessory, obstinate) while solving a dandy mystery. Glasser’s frequent black-and-white illustrations will help connect this new series with the earlier one.
Nancy is one sassy gumshoe. Her fans will enjoy growing up with her. (Mystery. 7-10)