Fourth-grader Moxie McCoy must solve the crime of the century when the school mascot goes missing.
She’s aptly named, but the spunky white girl prefers to go by Slim while she’s on a case. When the stuffed owl mascot, Eddie, is taken from a display case, the entire school is in an uproar. Moxie, whose entomologist mother has named an insect after her, takes it upon herself to find the culprit. Like any good detective with “high standards and excellent taste,” she narrows down her suspects by process of elimination. Trouble is, Moxie is a tad impulsive and has a tendency to jump to conclusions. With some behind-the-scenes help from her little brother, Milton, and a lot of patience from the school principal, illustrated as a black woman, Moxie comes to examine what she did right and where she might need improvement. More Pippi Longstocking than Nancy Drew with her sassy gumption, unflappable enthusiasm, and wild imagination, Moxie has a flair for the frequent offbeat declaration: “I am fairly certain that a dilemma is a kind of ferocious desert animal. I am surprised that Principal Jones thinks I might have one.” Each page is ebulliently decorated with hurly-burly fonts and rambunctious graphics. Questions to readers in the form of an “official debrief” prompt critical thinking about Moxie’s narrative.
An exceptional middle-grade read packed with giggles for young sleuths who love to explore a little off the beaten path. (glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)