Participating in a Book Review Blast with Mother-Daughter Book Reviews.
About the BooksTitle: Frankie Dupont and The Science Fair Sabotage
Author: Julie Anne Grasso | Illustrator: Alexander Avellino |
Publication Date: May 11, 2015
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Publisher's Summary: Frankie Dupont is less than impressed when he has to attend the Sustainable Science Fair with Kat and Amy. Upon his arrival, he learns that Amy's brothers have had their robotics chip stolen. Keen to recover the chip, Frankie questions the kids in the competition, but everyone seems to have a motive. When baffling clues start rolling in via ͞ Snap-Goss ͟instant messages, Frankie realizes it will take all of his detective muscles to solve this case. An illustrated mystery for ages 8- 12.
I found the mystery and solution in this story perhaps the most satisfying so far of the Frankie Dupont Mysteries, but admit that as it has been many months since reading the first two, I found that I had lost track of some characters whom I was clearly expected to know. This is frustrating at first, but soon enough the story picks up speed on its own. A quick and easy read, it is nevertheless a good mystery, with a solution that holds up, and it is even plausible that young Frankie can solve it more or less on his own, with some reasoning.
Title: Frankie Dupont and High Seas Heist
Author: Julie Anne Grasso | Illustrator: Alexander Avellino
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Publisher's Summary: Frankie Dupont seems to catch odd-ball cases in the most unlikely places. You would think he would be used to it by now. When his next case lands him on a luxury cruise liner full of devious chocolatiers with ulterior motives, Frankie will be expected to solve the crime, even before it's committed. Although his mind is certainly up for the challenge, Frankie realizes his stomach has yet to find its sea legs. An illustrated mystery for ages 8- 12
Frankie's all at sea this time. He has gone on an Antarctic Cruise with his father, his dog, and his two sidekicks Kat & Amy, on a mission to find a thief and stop a theft before it happens. This time Frankie is working alongside both his father and Inspector Cluesome, who up to now has felt more like a nemesis or at least an arch-rival.
It wasn't until they took off from Tasmania that I remembered that Frankie lives in Australia. That helps make the cruise a little more plausible, but the whole thing still feels maybe a little too far from realism, or maybe Antarctica feels that accessible from Australia (a cruise to Antarctica to reveal a new chocolate does feel a little absurd; maybe it's supposed to). The mystery is still good, though the denouement was visible from fairly far off, and this time Frankie is maybe a bit too dependent on his gadgetry rather than his brains.
I enjoy Frankie, and find that in most of his stories he has a nice blend of unusual smarts--and some lovely flaws, including too much belief in his own skills.The books aren't terribly realistic, and aren't trying to be--there's a hint of SF/Fantasy in most of them, from the super-advanced detective gadgets Frankie uses to the mysterious behavior of Enderby Manor (Book 1). That means that I have to change my mind-set a bit to read them, but most children will have no trouble with it.
I can recommend the Frankie Dupont books to any child who likes mystery. I would say it's for fans of the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown, but these books probably come before those in terms of reading level. The publisher lists the age range as 8-12; I would probably say the audience tends to the lower end of that span.
About the Author: Julie Anne Grasso
With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories to entertain them. A science fiction nerd (she even owns a TARDIS), cupcake enthusiast and lover of all things mystery, she lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little girl Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai tea and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.
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