Okay, I have to say it: I love the sound of The Gumshoe News Crew Review. And this is the review I was supposed to have had up Monday, for the Blog Tour. Follow that link to enter the drawing for good stuff!
Title: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super Secret
Author: Melissa Perry Moraja
Publisher: Melissa Productions, Inc. 2014. 94 pages
Source: Advance review copy
Summary (the official blurb):
Up until a few days ago, nothing extraordinary had ever happened
in ten year old Josh Wunderkind’s life - except eating a whole pot of
pasta by himself. But that all changed after a mammoth-sized bird hit
him smack on the face with a glob of neon green bird poop, triggering
his superhuman Wunderkind ability and leaving him with the
responsibility of caring for a baby bird he named Max. Now Josh was just
like his older brother and twin sister Madison-super extraordinary! But
what Josh didn't realize was that being superhuman wasn't all fun and
And things only got more complex in Josh’s life when his two siblings
and a couple neighborhood friends persuade him to lead a super
crime-solving, neighborhood news team—the Gumshoe News Crew. But not
before they agree on the Super Secret and complete Gumshoe Boot Camp.
Find out what the Super Secret is. Will the Gumshoe News Crew complete
boot camp? Or will Josh let his team down?
Intended for a slightly younger audience than my usual books, this story was a super-quick read. Charming and witty, it moved swiftly, narrated by the slightly hapless Josh, who is happy to finally find his super power, but is pretty worried about messing things up, and with some reason. The tone and humor are perfect for the target audience, and were enough to keep this alleged adult turning pages too.
I really had only two complaints about Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: for one, the role of the baby bird in the story is sufficiently unreal that it needs to be very clear that there is a lot of magical stuff going on there. He learns to fly in a single, 5-minute lesson? The author is careful to be sure the readers know that in the ordinary way of things, touching a wild animal or baby chick is a very bad idea, however, which is good. My second complaint is that the ending was rather sudden. The story hints at a further mystery they will need to solve--but we are apparently to be left to figure that one out in the next book. No fair!
This looks like a great series for readers making the transition from easy-reader books to more advanced chapter books.
Full Disclosure: I was given an advance review copy of Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."