Secret Agent Amelia Kidd has saved the world loads of times.
Or, at least a couple. Amelia, a young detective, is always on the lookout for evil geniuses and criminal masterminds. (The telltale I’m-going-to-rule-the-world smile gives them away every time.) Of course, while searching out trouble, she often finds herself right in the middle of it. Narrating in first person, Amelia shares three case files in one collection. In the first mystery, she catches a jewel thief while on a class trip. In the second, she foils a cat burglary (quite literally; cats are the prime suspects), and in the third, she battles plants that have come alive. Each case contains more than one element of disbelief, but Amelia is so earnest, readers will gladly go along for the ride. Secret asides spoken directly to the audience and classic school tropes such as bullying and popularity make Amelia instantly recognizable. The plots—while offbeat in content—are amusing and easy to follow. More-seasoned suspense readers might wish for more complication, but emerging chapter-book readers will appreciate the linear approach. Black-and-white illustrations on every page also help the stories flow. The start of a new series, Agent Amelia continues her quest in Zombie Cows! (simultaneous publication, 2011).
Watch out Cam Jansen, there's a new sleuth in town. (Mystery. 7-10)