Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Five Favorite Mysteries . . . by Marcia Wells *PLUS A GIVEAWAY!

Know any young mystery fans? Looking for a fast-paced page-turner that they won't be able to put down? Then you're in luck! Today Marcia Wells, author of the highly praised Eddie Red Undercover mystery series, is here and she's sharing her five favorite middle grade mysteries! 
 
"Mysteries come in all shapes and sizes. There are police crime stories and detective who-dunnits, ghost hauntings and supernatural thrillers. This is true from middle grade all the way through adult novels. It's difficult for me to narrow my favorites down to a Top Five, but I will say that it is crucial to read a lot of kinds of mysteries to see which type grabs you as a writer. 
The latest EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER mystery! Coming this April!

Here are five very different mysteries that have helped me on my mystery-writing journey:

5. Belly Up 
by Stewart Gibbs
Here's what Amazon says: Twelve-year-old Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Fitzroy believes that Henry, the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle, has been murdered. The zoo’s top brass claim the hippo went belly up the natural way, but Teddy and his feisty friend Summer McCraken have other ideas. I loved the zany setting, as well as the unusual stakes involved. A cranky hippo that has a long list of enemies? Brilliant. Teddy is a charming character and there are a lot of cool zoo details. 
4. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls 
by Claire Legrand
Kids go in to the home and never come out...need I say more? Talk about a spooky mystery! The author maintains a fabulous amount of creepy tension without making it too scary for young readers. Great pacing and suspense.
3. Hoot 
by Carl Hiassen
This book is a great example of a police crime mystery for kids. There's a new kid in town and he's thrown into a world of bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. The mystery is funny as it is compelling. It has a boy protagonist, but also switches to a few adult POVs as the plot thickens. It's brilliantly woven together, and won the Newbery Honor Award.
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 
by J.K. Rowling
We all know about Harry Potter and his magical world. But each book also contains a TON of mystery. From the first pages, multiple mysteries are introduced and woven throughout the book for an incredible page-turner. If you want to study great pacing, reread the Harry Potter series with mysteries in mind.
1. Three Times Lucky 
by Sheila Turnage
Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. When a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. This book has it all! Fabulous tension, amazing voice and endearing characters, all set in a town that's both spooky and charming. No wonder it won the Newbery Honor Award!"

*AND NOW ... GIVEAWAY TIME! FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF MARCIA'S EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER: MYSTERY ON MUSEUM MILE, TELL US YOUR FAVORITE MYSTERY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION! 
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 25th!

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About Marcia Wells
Marcia Wells is the author of the Edgar-nominated middle grade mystery series EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER. In a former life she taught middle school math and Spanish. She lives in New England with her family, and knows entirely too much about chickens, pigs, and Nerf sword fighting. To learn more about Marcia and her books, visit her website.

 About Marcia's books
EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER:
MYSTERY ON MUSEUM MILE
Illustrated by Marcos Calo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2015 
ISBN-13 978-0544439405
Art, mystery, fun and friendship, combine in this illustrated middle grade series debut. 

“This is a strong start to a promising new series, and as Eddie would say, it’s ├╝ber-cool.” Booklist

“(An) effervescent debut. . . . A sure pleaser for Cam Jansen grads or anyone fond of knotty, lightweight capers solved with brainpower (and a little luck).”Kirkus 

NEW! Coming April 7, 2015!
EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER:
MYSTERY IN MAYAN MEXICO 
Illustrated by Marcos Calo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0544302068

Now that he has become the NYPD’s youngest crime-solving hero, Eddie Red and his best friend Jonah are ready to relax on a family vacation to Mexico. But when Eddie’s father is falsely accused of stealing, what they find is another complex mystery. Can Eddie – with his artistic talent and photographic memory – and Jonah uncover clues and catch the real crook in time?

"All three kids are realistic and likable. . . . Fast paced enough to keep those who crave adventure turning pages. Refreshingly, this book features an African American protagonist."  —School Library Journal

Click here for a sneak peek!

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