by Andrew Clements
Atheneum Books (July 22, 2014)
Chapter Book - Mystery
Sixth-grader Alton Barnes loves maps, and when his portfolio of secret maps is stolen, he begins getting notes with orders that he must obey to get the maps back but, with the help of a popular classmate, he just might succeed before his teacher, principal, or someone else learns he has been studying and mapping things about them.
Why You'll Love It:
- A convincing school story that also features an engaging central mystery with a surprising reveal.
- Alton’s plan to be honest with his classmates and ask for forgiveness, before they see his maps that may upset them, is instructive and inspiring without being didactic.
- Secondary characters are well drawn, including popular Quint, who has more depth than Alton initially expected, and the principal, who is entertained by Alton’s data on the number of times she says “um” during the morning announcements.
Who Should Read It:
Great for grades 3-6
What Else You Should Read:
- Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series (also by Clements)
- Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies
- Saxby Smart, Private Detective series by Simon Cheshire