Happy New Year! To start off this year, here's the only other middle grade book about the holiday that I can think of besides Harrison's Charmed and Dangerous: The Pretty Committee Strikes Back. Anyone know of others?
Freeman, Martha. Who Stole New Year's Eve?
5 September 2013, Holiday House
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Alex's neighborhood is all set for the Ice Festival as well as their annual Twelve Days of Christmas decorating, but the arrival of new neighbors makes some of them unhappy. Eve, who's father is working on a "grassoline" project at the university, moves in from California, and Alex's friend Yasmeen is NOT happy. It doesn't help when Eve laughs at her singing efforts. When first an ice statue of Eve (that was a present from her father) is stolen, and then the others that were done for the festival, Alex has to investigate. Yasmeen doesn't want to help, but Eve does, as well as past regulars Sofie, Bub and Alex's mother, Detective Parakeet manage to figure out the mystery. This is Book 5 in the Chickadee Court Mysteries.
Strengths: This book took QUITE the unexpected turn at the end, which I always appreciate, but which makes writing a synopsis difficult. I thought this was a light, fun mystery, but it got really serious at the end. I don't know how I missed these books; I will have to take a look at them, since I always need more mysteries. Added bonus: Yasemeen's family is from Trinidad! The only other MG fiction book I can think of with a character of that origin is Ganeshram's Stir It Up!
Weaknesses: A little on the goofy side, but not too bad. The thing I couldn't believe was that when Alex's clearly beloved cat, Luau, goes limp and is ill, he allows his father to take the cat to the vet without him while he goes off to investigate. And he forgets about the cat! Clearly, this is what needs to happen to sustain the plot, but when my dog Sylvie went limp at exactly this time last year, you can bet that my daughter and I both rushed her to the vet. But, clearly that's just my experience talking!