Monday, November 13, 2017

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER: MYSTERY ON MUSEUM MILE by Marcia Wells

EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER: MYSTERY ON MUSEUM MILE by Marcia Wells (HMH Books for Young Readers, April 1, 2014)

What It's About:
Sixth-grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, code-name “Eddie Red,” has a photographic memory and a prodigious talent for drawing anything he sees. When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case, drawing Eddie deeper into New York’s famous Museum Mile and closer to a dangerous criminal group known as the Picasso Gang. Can Eddie help catch the thieves in time, or will his first big case be his last?

First Lines:
"State your name."
"Eddie Red."
The officer looks up at me and frowns. "State your real name. For the police report." He jabs a meaty finger at the paperwork in front of him.
"Edmund Lonnrot," I reply, making sure to keep my voice steady despite my wobbly insides. Worst Night Ever.

Things I Liked:

  1. Eddie's voice. You can tell that Marcia Wells has spent a lot of time among the target age group. The way Eddie talks is pitch perfect. (And everything is über this or that or something or other!)
  2. Best Friend. Eddie's best friend is Jonah Schwartz, and the two of them are a hoot. Jonah has ADHD, but is brilliant once his meds kick in. It's Jonah that uses chess moves to crack the Picasso Gangs' plan!
  3. Humor. There's a lot of funny stuff, from the incident that gave Mr. Pee his name, to the idea that Eddie will dress as a girl scout selling cookies to gain entrance to the apartments of potential art collectors (thank you, Jonah Schwartz, for that brilliant idea.)
  4. Eddie's Family. You know how I like it in middle grade novels when moms and dads are alive and involved in their kids' lives. Put a check next to Eddie's parents for that.
  5. Diversity. Eddie's black. #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Eddie Red Undercover: mystery on Museum Mile is on the Oregon Battle of the Books list for 3-5th grade. (I think that vocabulary-wise it works best for the upper part of this age range. My son and I had a great time reading it aloud together. My son particularly enjoyed doing Detective Bovano's accent.)

There are two other books in the Eddie Red series. Check them out here.


About the Author:
Marcia Wells has a Master’s degree in Spanish literature and has taught writing, Spanish and math to middle and high school students for the past fifteen years.


When she’s not visiting relatives in New York City and planning new adventures for Eddie Red, she’s at home with her kids, husband, and other farm animals in Vermont.

P.S. If you want to know even more about Marcia Wells, there's a neat interview with her on Marieke's blog, Presents of Love. Ciao!