Author: Mac Barnett
Publication: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; Reprint edition (May 4, 2010)
Description: Steve Brixton is an average 7th grader. Until one Saturday at the library when he finds himself caught up in America's most top secret case.
My Thoughts: Seventh grader Steve Brixton is obsessed with mysteries. His favorite book is the
Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook. His next favorite books are the 58 books of the Bailey Brothers series. He reads and rereads them and is something of a detective himself. When his teacher assigns him a homework assignment of an essay on American needlework, Steve doesn't know that he will soon be involved in a case to recover a national treasure.
This is a humorous middle grade mystery with a likable main character. I liked that he was using the Bailey Brothers as guides to proper detective behavior. He had adopted the style and vocabulary of those old mysteries. I was reminded of the many Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books I read when I was young.
I liked the idea of librarians as secret agents who are determined to keep the country safe. However, they think that Steve is a detective in the employ of the mysterious Mr. E (mystery, get it?). So he is on the run from them and from the police, including his mom's new boyfriend. After many perilous adventures, Steve solves the case and embarks on his new career as a detective.
I think that middle grade adventure lovers who want some humor in their books will really like this one.
Mackintosh winced. "Just loaned people books? Listen, Steven: Librarians are the guardians of knowledge. And yes, we make sure knowledge is available, gratis, to everyone. 'Just loaning them books,' as you put it, is an important job." He paused and looked right at Steve. "But it's not the reason we're proficient in seven different kinds of martial arts."Gee, I seem to be seven different kinds of martial arts behind. I can loan people books with the best of them though.