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CLOSED FOR THE SEASON by Mary Downing Hahn

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON

By Mary Downing Hahn

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: June 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-08451-0
Publisher: Clarion

Thirteen-year-old Logan Forbes will have a lot to say in his “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” report in seventh grade next fall. His family has moved into a house known as the “murder house,” he’s made friends with nerdy outcast Arthur Jenkins and the boys have teamed up to help solve a murder and find embezzled money hidden in the nearby Magic Forest, a theme park now bankrupt and fallen into nightmarish disrepair. Though the murder mystery is the hook, this is really a story of two outsiders becoming friends played out in the small Virginia town of Bealesville, as Hahn capably dissects social strata of the town and school. The first-person voice serves the story well, though Logan occasionally seems too young for his observations. As always, the author is brilliant at establishing tone—eerie, creepy and surreal. The “cold case” mystery, the over-the-top fun of the Magic Forest scenes and the even darker mysteries of friendship and school life will make this a sure hit. (Mystery. 10-14)