Todd, with the help of his third-grade classmates, helps solve many mysteries.
Children's LiteratureNothing is going right in Todd's life. He has had to give up his bedroom for a visitor and his teacher, Mr. Merlin, has chosen spiders for the next class project. To top it off, a burglar in the neighborhood has been stealing valuables, including Todd's baseball card collection. What else could go wrong? Well, despite Todd's fear of spiders, Mr. Merlin insists that each student find and mount a spider web for classroom study. Little does Todd realize that it will be his spider web that provides the clue clinching the identity of the burglar. The action in this ten-chapter book moves the reader along, enticing her to keep reading to discover who the thief might be and how he will be caught. Mr. Merlin provides intriguing secret-code clues to help the classand the readersolve the mystery. A full-page, black-and-white illustration in each chapter helps break up the text, useful for students beginning to read chapter books on their own. The book ends with a student learning activity designed to help her catch a "thief" herself. This book is the fourth in the "Third Grade Detectives" series. 2001, Aladdin Paperbacks/Simon & Schuster, $3.99. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Stephanie Farrow
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