________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 38. . . .May 31, 2013


Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook. Volume 7.

Craig Battle.
Created by Liam O'Donnell.
Illustrated by Ramón Pérez.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2013.
96 pp., pbk., hc., & ePdf, $9.95 (pbk.), $13.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-926973-67-8 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-926973-66-1 (hc.),
ISBN 978-1-926973-73-9 (ePdf).

Subject Headings:
Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc.
Mystery games.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Crystal Sutherland.

**** /4



The paper said, "Welcome students of Baker Heights!" on it, and I thought it was a letter or something. By the time I opened it up and saw what it was, I was already in too deep.


Whether it's a missing ice sculpture, stolen comic, missing mascot, or a rigged math club competition, Whispering Meadows always has something interesting going on, and it's guaranteed you'll find Max Finder on the case. It's a good thing Max is as keen to find trouble as trouble is to find him. After carefully searching for clues, Max and his friends present their evidence and out the guilty parties, no matter how carefully the characters have covered their tracks. It's not always easy to pinpoint the guilty party, but Finders-in-training will find great satisfaction in solving cases on clues alone, and amateurs will groan when reading the summary at the end of each episode laying out the evidence Max used to catch the culprit or culprits, and will be inspired to pay closer attention to detail next time.

      In the seventh volume of Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook, Max Finder, with the help of his friends, solves 12 mysteries only Max Finder could solve. Through 10 four-to-six page full-colour comics/mini graphic novels and two stories, one told through a series of emails between Max and his friend Alison, readers will need to pay close attention to details in the text and illustrations in order to successfully solve the 12 mysteries. Storylines include uncovering who is responsible for scaring people away from a neighbourhood haunted house, finding out who literally stole the bases at a baseball game, and working out who want to lure Max into a wild goose chase simply to make him look like a fool. Using critical thinking, a little science, and with the help of his friend Alison Santos, Max is able to identify and expose the guilty party.

     In addition to the 12 mysteries, the volume concludes with a 'forensics corner' which looks at clue-collecting techniques used by Max in the preceding cases, including simple instructions on how to take fingerprints, collect DNA, and create chromatography with common materials found at home. The forensics corner gives readers an opportunity to try out some of Max's techniques and makes Max and Alison's ability to solve any mystery seem possible despite what may seem like outrageous storylines.

     Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook, Volume 7, provides engaging stories in appealing formats that encourage readers to pay close attention to detail and exercise their critical thinking skills. The forensics corner emphasizes following instructions while sneaking in some science. Suggestions for classroom use are provided along with the curriculum areas touched on with each activity. With colourful characters, intriguing storylines, and activities to apply Max Finder's research techniques in the real world, this volume is sure to engage and awaken the detective in every reader.


Highly Recommended.

Crystal Sutherland is a librarian in Halifax, NS.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.