Jeri McKane is a sixth grader at a boarding school who's a reporter for the school newspaper and also thinks of herself as an amateur sleuth. One day her detective skills are put to the test when a bus carrying a load of students, including Jeri's roommate, never returns. Clues lead to something sinister happening. Can Jeri fend off nosy reporters and snippity headmistresses to find out what really happened to her friends?
This is a new mystery series that is aimed at the tweener set and revolves around the lives of girls at the Landmark School for Girls. It's set a a boarding school location, which I adore because for some reason, I find boarding schools to be fascinating. Jeri is a character that is dealing with her parents divorce and feeling that she's not an important factor in her lives. Therefore she throws herself into her life at school to forget about those problems. Her character is very dimensional and grows throughout the story. She's very likable and if I were that age, I would like to have her as a friend. I thought the mystery was really good as it took me a while to figure out what really had happened to the missing students. It was quite intense and more complicated than what I had expected.
While it's a cute story and has a really good mystery for the younger set, there were some parts of the book I felt to be unbelievable. I just didn't buy some of the responses of the adults in the story. I also didn't like the headmistress and how she handled the situation. There are some parts that may be too intense for young readers such as child abduction and possible death. Therefore I would say this book is for at least readers of the tween age. However for those who can handle it, it's a great read and a fun way to spend an afternoon reading. These are perfect for Nancy Drew fans who are looking for something different to read. If you have a tween that loves mysteries, this book is definitely recommended.
Fading Tracks by Kristi Holl is published by Zondervan (2008)
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