Got Boys? Here’s a mystery to open the summer reading season.
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON by Mary Downing Hahn, Clarion, 2009
Logan is thirteen when his parents move to a house greatly in need of TLC in rural Virginia. School is out for the summer and the next door neighbor has been yearning for a new best friend. If this sounds like a set-up for a summer of fun as two boys discover a fishing hole and have rock skipping contests, it isn’t.
Hardly anything about the next door neighbor fits Logan’s picture of a best buddy.
In spite of this, while house repairs distract his parents, Logan finds himself tearing around the small town’s streets on his bike, pursuing clues about the possible murder that took place in his new/old house, escaping from a gang of toughs, and hunting for the money the murdered woman was accused of stealing. All of this because Logan’s neighbor builds a convincing story about the murder and thinks the money is hidden somewhere in an amusement park closed so long it’s covered in kudzu.
Why must murder mysteries be solved at night? Because that makes them scarier!
This mystery for middle-graders and other novels by the same author will be a great discovery for reluctant readers, especially boys. They might surprise you, too, and become readers!