Sunday, December 25, 2022

Nina Soni, Snow Spy (#5)

Sheth, Kashmira. Nina Soni, Snow Spy (#5)
Published October 18, 2022 by Peachtree
Public library copy

Nina and Kavita are very excited that it is a long weekend and their parents' friends are visiting with their children, Priya and Nayan, who are the same ages as the Soni children. Nina hopes to play in the snow, and also use the opportunity to spy on their neighborhood. Of especial interest is the Crumps' house, where a Mystery Person has been picking up the Crumps mail even though the Sonis thought that they would have it forwarded during their absence. Since Priya and Nayan haven't lived in Wisconsin very long, they are excited to see the snow, and want to make snow men, snow forts, snow angels, and do other winter activities. Of course, there's plenty of good food, and plenty of time getting warm inside. Jay, Nina's best friend and next door neighbor, and his cousins Jeff and Nora get brought into the spying the next day. Nina is making lots of lists, and has her own theories about who the Mystery Person might be. The spying doesn't go particularly well, because there is also snow ball fights and tobogganing to be done. When there is a mysterious call from the Crumps house, will Nina be able to solve the mystery?
Strengths: I love that Nina and Kavita don't have any qualms about playing with new friends, and that they often spend time outside doing fairly active and creative play. Sheth does a great job at depicting a supportive family and neighborhood life. Nina likes the Crumps, and is a little worried about their house, even though she is mainly interested in spying. One of my favorite parts of the book was the mother's lesson in keeping a room clean: spend five minutes every day. I make sure my house is clean every night before I go to bed, and my children learned to do this early on as well. Nina's lists help keep her focused. I also enjoy the fact that she likes to be around Kavita even though she is three years younger. Nothing big and exciting happens, but the book moves along quickly as Nina looks forward to visiting with new friends. 
Weaknesses: Highly suggestible children will want to build snow forts and spy on the neighbors, which could get annoying. Do children really want to spy on people? I don't remember this phase at all. 
What I really think: This series is a must purchase for elementary school libraries, and I have the first couple at my middle school for emerging readers. I'd love to see Sheth do a similar series for older readers.

Ms. Yingling

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