Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 4
Genre: early chapter book
What did you like about the book? Ada is a likable, sympathetic main character, and it’s refreshing that she loves science and technology. The third grader just moved into a new home in San Francisco with her family, and is currently hampered from exploring her new neighborhood by a broken ankle. Thankfully, she makes a friend and the exuberant Nina is glad to explore for both of them. When the girls suspect that their neighbor’s dog has been stolen, they embark on an investigation to discover the culprit. Chief among their suspects is their mysterious neighbor Mr. Peebles, and the girls begin to spy on him rather relentlessly. The story is filled with gadgets and technology, all of which are explained in an author’s note at the end. The winsome illustrations and Ada’s field notes break up the text and should encourage reluctant readers. This is the first book in a series that should be very popular.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story is fun and has lots to recommend it, but parents and teachers may want to make use of several teachable moments to talk to their kids about using technology appropriately and also safety around strangers.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? Recommend to early chapter book readers who enjoy their stories with a bit of science. Kids who enjoy this book might be ready for the incomparable Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh when they are a little older.
Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries should consider this series.
Where would you shelve it ? Early chapter books or middle-grade fiction.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: October 11, 2017