Island of the Unknowns: A Mysteryby Benedict Carey
This gripping mystery, spiked with math clues, follows quirky outcasts Lady Di and Tom Jones as they try to save their woebegone island community. In their trailer park next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first the kids barely notice the disappearances themselves—until their beloved math tutor, Mrs.
This gripping mystery, spiked with math clues, follows quirky outcasts Lady Di and Tom Jones as they try to save their woebegone island community. In their trailer park next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first the kids barely notice the disappearances themselves—until their beloved math tutor, Mrs. Clarke, is abducted too. Mrs. Clarke has left them clues to her whereabouts in the form of equations that lead them all over the trailer park, through hidden tunnels under nearby “Mount Trashmore,” and into the Folsom Energy Plant itself, where Lady Di and Tom Jones and a gang of other misfits uncover the sordid truth about what’s really happening on their island.
Readers “will be swept up in the fast talk and exciting action” (Booklist) of this “inheritor of The Westing Game” (Kirkus) that is sure to make math lovers of even the most determined number-phobes.
This first novel's promising premise-Carey (a New York Times science reporter) uses mathematical equations and theorems as clues to a mystery-sinks under the weight of burdensome plotting and characters' hypothesizing. Spearheading the sleuthing are Di and Tom, seventh-grade misfits determined to find Mrs. Clarke, a kindly neighbor who helps them with their math homework, after she vanishes. The kids live in a bleak trailer park located beside an underground nuclear plant, made all the more unsavory by the nearby dump, Mt. Trashmore, "an entire rotting universe, reeking like sugary vomit." Deciphering notations left by Mrs. Clarke, the kids draw a map that leads them to underground tunnels, which they suspect hold the key to the woman's disappearance. The maps-simple diagrams that grow as information is uncovered-help elucidate their discoveries, yet digressions and a steady stream of data ("The Trashmore entrance was eight hundred yards above the x-axis. But the tunnel angled inward one hundred yards for every four hundred it moved downward") may dampen interest in what feels like an extended, if adventurous, story problem. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Benedict Carey, a New York Times science section writer, was a math and physics major in college. Hoping to ignite a passion for math in his own kids, he has crafted a smart and action-packed story for middle-grade readers that uses math lessons to solve the mystery. He and his wife and their children live in New York City.
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This better be a good book because l need to read it for battle of the books. It sounds good though. -whale boy
I know right whale boy this better be a good book because i have to read this for summer reading! - K
I'm reading it for battle of the books. Don't sound that good