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Natalie and Annie decide to put their detective skills to use as they open the E & O Detective Agency to solve neighborhood mysteries. Together they stumble across an incredibly intriguing one when Mrs. Warsaw, their elderly neighbor with memory problems, begins spreading news about a woman named Zina Zeolite hiding in her bedroom closet. Mrs. Warsaw ...
Natalie and Annie decide to put their detective skills to use as they open the E & O Detective Agency to solve neighborhood mysteries. Together they stumble across an incredibly intriguing one when Mrs. Warsaw, their elderly neighbor with memory problems, begins spreading news about a woman named Zina Zeolite hiding in her bedroom closet. Mrs. Warsaw often speaks of seeing strange things so Natalie doesn't believe her. But Annie insists that they take the case.
Posted August 25, 2010
Natalie and Annie, nicknamed Elvis and Olive, are best friends. When Natalie decides to run for school secretary, she finds out she has to do a Helping Hands Project in order to run. The girls come up with the idea to start their own detective agency where they don't charge any money.
The campaign running is off to a rocky start, however, when the Principal says that their project isn't good enough. Between having to come up with a campaign slogan and a significant enough service project, Natalie and Annie start feeling the stress. Annie, however, starts feeling it worse when she starts questioning why her mother abandoned her.
Will Annie find a way to contact her mother? Will the girls solve an important enough mystery so that Annie can run for secretary?
A fun, humorous story about two girls and their adventures. The characters are entertaining and easy to relate to. The plot moves at a slower pace and isn't strictly a mystery story, but the author does a good job of keeping the reader's attention and interest. This book would be a good way to introduce detective stories or friendship in literature to young readers.
Readers who like realistic fiction and mystery stories will enjoy reading SUPER DETECTIVES.
Posted April 22, 2010
This heartwarming story of friendship between two very different girls was a great book to read together with my almost 9 year-old daughter. She absolutely loved it. This is the second book author Stephanie Watson writes about 9 year-old Annie Beckett and 10 year-old Nathalie Wallis, best friends who use the code names Elvis and Olive. Funny, a little mysterious and sometimes sad, it's sure to please middle grade girls.
Annie is spontaneous, creative and in foster care since her mother left her, whereas Nathalie is shy, lacks self-confidence, and goes to a private academy. When Nathalie decides to run for Student Council Secretary and she needs to do a Helping Hands project, she and Annie decide to open the E & O Detective Agency to solve mysteries in their neighbourhood. We follow the girls' adventures as they try to solve simple and difficult cases, and we are introduced to a colourful cast of neighbours whom they help out. The most pressing cases are their own, though, as Annie desperately wants to find her mother, and Nathalie wants to find a way to win the Student Council elections.
My only disappointment was that Nathalie's parents were not prominent enough. They make but a brief appearance toward the end of the book. In a story where other adult characters play an important role, such as Mr. and Mrs. Warsaw, and Ms. Hatch, Annie's foster grandmother, the absent relationship of Nathalie and her parents was too evident. Especially since Annie is dealing with parental abandonment. I found this ironic.
Wouldn't a ten year old want to discuss the distressing situation of her best friend with her own mother? And running for Student Council Secretary was such a big deal for Nathalie, yet there's no parental involvement whatsoever? Instead, she talks to a chip on her bed board. Granted, kids have imaginary friends, but my motherly instincts still felt Nathalie's situation was too unrealistic. Her parents cared and loved her, therefore they should have been more involved in the story as the other adults were.
Apart from this, the book was an enjoyable read for both my daughter and I. True friendship, believing in yourself, and showing kindness are some of the themes that run through this story, making this a thought-provoking novel as well. From the way it ended, I see the possibility of a third book in the picture, which would make a delightful series for middle graders.