I So Don’t Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy

I So Don't Do Mysteries

I So Don’t Do Mysteries 

 by Barrie Summy
  • VOYA: 4Q4P M
  • Lexile Level: HL600L
  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736039
  • Sherlock Holmes Baldwin– Sherry, for short– has a lot on her mind.  Between boys, school, the death of her overachieving policewoman mother, and the upcoming wedding of her widowed father and the Ruler, Sherry has her hands full.  With Spring Break approaching, however, Sherry is confident that she will get in some much-needed rest and relaxing with her best friend, Junie.  Though she is not looking forward to having her math teacher as a stepmother, she is looking forward to a break from all of the drama, and having the wedding in the past and the pair gone on their honeymoon promises to make her Spring Break even better.  Naturally, the happy couple have no plans to allow Sherry and her young brother to stay in Phoenix during the honeymoon, however, and Sherry finds her plans crushed when the two announce that she will be shipped off to her Aunt Margaret in San Diego.  Luckily, her mother’s ghost chooses this juncture to reappear with desperate need of help.  It seems that she must solve a mystery to assure her place in the afterlife, and she needs her daughter to act as her partner.  The mystery involves rhinos at an animal park in San Diego, and Sherry is able to convince her best friend to accompany her.  Too bad her friend doesn’t believe in ghosts.

    Sherry is both realistic and amusing as the standard preteen desperate to connect with her crush, eager to prove herself to her mother, and naively confident that she can manage any challenge this mystery may bring her way.  The addition of Junie’s annoyingly beautiful, self-centered, and boy crazy cousin provides a perfect recipe for fun.  Summy has crafted a fun premise and a strong mystery that the reader can enjoy solving along with the characters.  Her portrayal of teens and preteens is realistic, though frustratingly devoid of adults.  Sherry’s budding romance with her crush is endearing and remains reassuringly innocent making this a good series for younger readers.

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