CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 1. . . .September 6, 2013
When Levi’s bike is stolen from right in front of the convenience store, everyone asks him the same question: “Was it locked?” The feelings of loss are intensified by the guilt that he didn’t, in fact, lock it. However, when his best friend Riley’s bike is stolen the next day from the same area, it becomes clear that locked or no, someone in the neighbourhood is stealing bikes, and the boys are determined to discover the perpetrator. Through multiple plans and tactics, Levi and Riley put their heads together to solve the mystery with a little help from the police, their parents, and one of the prime suspects – Emily Grimshaw.
Hazel Hutchins has written a gripping mystery for children with twists and clues enough to keep readers engaged until the surprise resolution. She is a master at chapter-ending cliff-hangers. There could not be a more relatable subject matter for a pre-teen mystery than a bike thief, and Hutchins delivers a cast of characters complete with believable dialogue, actions, and reactions. The first person narrative from Levi’s perspective is a solid foundation and allows the different facets of the story to be filtered through one consistent point of view. Readers get the benefit of compelling characters of both genders, and ages (Levi’s dad is really cool) without becoming confused by too many voices.
Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.
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