This debut YA novel is the first in a series about the escapades of teenage best friends Kay and Anna.
Kay’s father has just accepted a job in New Jersey, and his 13-year-old daughter is miserable about the move. Not only does she feel lonely without her Florida friends, but as far as she’s concerned, Jersey “[s]ucks.” A visit with her mother to the state’s Washington Crossing State Park, where Gen. George Washington and his troops famously crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War, does nothing to improve Kay’s mood. Her verdict on American history is an unequivocal “[b]or-ring.” But all that changes when she meets Anna and her brother Buddy, whose father is the park’s superintendent. While biking through the park, the three come upon the Johnson Ferry House and discover, hidden in its old fireplace, a letter addressed to a Col. Johann Rall and dated Dec. 22, 1776. Soon after, Kay is nearly forced off her bike by a suspicious van, both girls’ houses are burgled, and Kay and her friends find themselves smack in the middle of an FBI sting operation. The pacing of this slim volume is lively enough, and readers who missed the history lesson on the Delaware crossing will benefit from the quick overview here. However, the ease with which such perfectly ordinary, not to say bland, suburban kids manage to get themselves into and out of trouble may seem simplistic to more sophisticated teens. As a result, this book will likely not appeal to fans of The Hunger Games, or even The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
A simple YA tale but not a bad choice for a quick summer read.