Friday, November 14, 2008

First Clues Review: Danger at the Zoo by Kathleen Ernst

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

Danger at the Zoo by Kathleen Ernst

Danger at the Zoo by Kathleen Ernst

American Girl Publishing (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-58485-989-X (158485989X)
ISBN-13: 978-1-58485-989-5 (9781584859895)
Publication Date: March 2004
List Price: $6.95

Review written by Sarah, Age 11, Grade 6. Date of review: November 2008.

Review: If you like books that keep you in suspense, this is the book for you. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio during the great depression. This book is the 5th book in the series but you can read them in any order because each book is its own story. In the book, Danger at the Zoo, the main characters are Kit an 11-year-old girl who dreams of being a writer, Stirling a friend of Kit’s who is a boarder at their house and has a job working at the zoo, Will, a hobo who travels around and now has a job at the zoo with Stirling, Mr. Barta, a Hungarian monkey trainer who desperately wants to get into the zoo for free, and Otis a zoo worker who isn’t always pleasant, but loves animals.

The problem that Kit and Stirling are trying to solve is that someone is leaving the doors to the monkey house unlocked (and Will is the one who is supposed to lock them). There is also another problem, someone is stealing food and a suit from the Kittredge’s house. There are also other characters that are in the book. The characters are, Mrs. Kittredge (Kit’s mom) who spends her day’s preparing food and other things for the boarders, Miss Bravetti a young teacher who boards at the Kittredge’s house, Superintendent Stephan, the owner at the zoo who thinks Will is careless, so he blames Will for leaving the doors to the monkey house unlocked, Mrs. Dalrymple a boarder who likes to take charge and can be bossy, and lastly Rudy a young boy who works in the monkey house, and is very passionate about the monkeys.

I liked this book, it kept me on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out who could possibly be leaving the doors to the monkey house open. I also loved how the author shared Kit’s notes with the reader, so that the notes could help the reader figure out who maybe causing the problem. I also liked that Kit learned that she should focus and really work hard on her article, so that the article would be published. I think that you should read this book because it’s a great mystery that you can also learn from. There are two things that you learn when you read this book. The first thing you learn, is about the great depression and how little money everyone had, and you also learn a lesson about the amount of time you spend on things and how that affects the outcome. This book is appropriate for people in 3rd grade and older (adults might not enjoy this book as much as kids).

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