Monday, January 22, 2007

The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen

Anderson, M.T. 2006. THE CLUE OF THE LINOLEUM LEDERHOSEN. Ill. by Kurt Cyrus. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 0152053522 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]

The traumatic trio of Lily, Jasper, and Katie are at it again in what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation at Moose Tongue Lodge and Resort. From the time their Gyroscopic Sky Suite attaches itself to the lodge and the trio enters the hotel through the bathroom of one of the guests—who just happens to be bathing—there are problems. To begin with, the free coupons that made them decide to travel to Moose Tongue are bogus and the Hooper Quints have been kidnapped. Surprisingly, most of the guests at the lodge are also children’s book heroes, just like Katie and Jasper, and strange things keep happening. Not only are the coupons fakes and the quints kidnapped, but taxidermy and jewelry keeps disappearing. Can this motley group of characters work together to solve the mysteries or is one of them the guilty party?

As with Anderson’s first book in the series. WHALES ON STILTS, the book blends humor, great plot pacing, and fun characters into a delightful read. The black and white illustrations by Kurt Cyrus give the book a nostalgic appeal that fits well with the vintage characters.

Mostly, this book is just good fun, either as a read aloud or as a book to read independently. It is simple enough for the reluctant reader, but the humor and satire will appeal to the more sophisticated young reader.

The book is great for genre studies, especially in teaching that books don’t have to be strictly in one genre only, as this book combines elements of mystery, science fiction, and humor.

Other fun, humorous novels for middle graders:
Anderson, M.T. WHALES ON STILTS. ISBN 0152053409
Colfer, Eoin. ARTEMIS FOWL SERIES. First: ISBN 0670899631

By Janet Hilbun

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