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THE CASE OF THE MOSSY LAKE MONSTER by Michele Torrey

THE CASE OF THE MOSSY LAKE MONSTER

By Michele Torrey (Author) , Barbara Johansen Newman (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46815-3
Publisher: Dutton

There’s always room for another detective team on the junior fiction shelves, and the dynamic duo of fifth graders, Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, have the added appeal of being amateur scientists as well as amateur sleuths. Torrey (The Case of the Galloping Garbage, not reviewed, etc.) uses short sentences, snappy dialogue, and lots of droll humor for the second entry in what promises to be a successful mystery series. Drake and Nell are well-drawn characters who solve four short mysteries in this volume, involving a sickly cat, an inflatable sea monster, oil-covered penguins, and defaced posters from a school election. Torrey, a microbiologist as well as a talented writer, skillfully injects the scientific method and principles into each case, and an appendix offers humorously written experiments and activities that relate to each case. Newman’s spot illustrations and a few full-page illustrations in black-and-white line drawings add to the humor and also illustrate authentic reasons for writing (business cards, receipts, letters, and lab notes) that teachers will appreciate. In fact, teachers will be among the first fans of this series, as the cases would make great read-alouds in elementary classrooms, with built-in science experiments as follow-up activities. (Fiction. 8-11)