Monday, January 25, 2010
Closed for the Season
by Mary Downing Hahn
Clarion Books, 2009.
When Logan moves to a new town, he has no idea his new home is the "murder house." Neighbors tell his family that Mrs. Donaldson was murdered there years before, and the murderer never caught. Not only that, there's the case of the missing money. Thousands of dollars is missing and it is believed that Mrs. Donaldson stole the money from the local amusement park where she worked. Gossip has it that the murderer found the money, killed Mrs. Donaldson, and hightailed it.
The Magic Forest now sits empty, dark, and foreboding. It's broken down and taken over by vegetation and swallowed by kudzo vines. Logan and his new "friend" Arthur are drawn to the park and the mystery of the missing money. As they begin to uncover clues, they find themselves deep in trouble. Who are the good guys? Who do we trust? Are people really who they say they are?
Hahn is always a great storyteller with an "ear" for kids' dialog. She makes us laugh along with the nerdy kids and cheer when they win. A former children's librarian, Hahn must have spent a great deal of time studying her "subjects."
A great read for grades 5-8 and older readers who enjoy a mystery.