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MYSTERY IN MT. MOLE by Richard W. Jennings

MYSTERY IN MT. MOLE

By Richard W. Jennings

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-28478-8
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Nobody does quirky quite like Jennings, and this offering falls right into line with his other works. Andrew J. Forrest, proud denizen of Mt. Mole, Kansas, takes it into his head to investigate the sudden disappearance of the most-disliked member of the community, Assistant Principal Jacob Farley. His deadpan narration takes him, scooter-back, around town, as he interviews a bevy of equally quirky suspects (including his mother), pursues the lovely and lively Georgia Wayne, and almost in spite of himself solves more mysteries than one. As with Jennings’s previous books, the fun is in the voice and the details rather than the ultimate outcome. Andrew is a loner, a boy who is all-too-aware of his own liabilities (including a regrettable inability to maintain a focus) but who matter-of-factly plows through life. Mt. Mole itself becomes a character, with its grid layout, which labels its streets alphabetically after native animals (resulting in Flea, Jackalope, Opossum, and Toad Streets), and its curious propensity for geological and meteorological oddities. A wry, witty, and always intelligent work that’s as individualistic as its hero. (Fiction. 8-12)