Thursday, August 24, 2017

Vanished (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery)

22094457Ponti,  James. Vanished (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery)
August 22nd 2017 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

After their brilliant solution to an art heist mystery in Framed!, Florian and his friend Margaret are back. This time, Marcus (their F.B.I. contact) approaches them to take a short leave from Alice Deal Middle School and become students undercover at a private school where pranks have caused disruption to everything, even the school computer server. The catch? The president's daughter is a student there, and may or may not be behind the pranks. As the investigation deepens, Florian makes friends with a talented cellist from China, Yin, and learns secrets about the school's history. He also uses his "Theory of All Small" Things to find a long lost keepsake for the president. Just when the mystery of the pranks is just about solved, a Yin goes missing after he plays his first number at a Kennedy Center concert. Has he run away? Been kidnapped? Florian and Margaret have to use their detecting abilities and some of their previous contacts in order to find him.
Strengths: This had lots of great funny moments, which are always a plus in a good mystery. Florian's formality plays against Margaret's more typically middle grade impulsiveness. The idea of secret societies is intriguing, and gives an air of National Treasure to the book. (One of my children's favorite movies). I adored the scene where Florian found the keepsake. The book starts with a bang, and there's plenty of intrigue and chase scenes to keep even reluctant readers engaged. Curious to see what the next three books will be!
Weaknesses: I now understand why the Trumps are so concerned about their son's safety. After Clayton Stone: Facing Off, Bradley's  Double Vision: Code Name 711 , Garretson's Wild Fire Run, Gibbs' Spy School Secret Service, Barnes' The Fixer, and Bradford's Bodyguard series, it's clear that presidential children are often in grave danger and can only be saved by other tweens!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. I'm very glad that Vanished has done so well!

Ms. Yingling

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