The Mystery of the Missing Everything

The Mystery of the Missing Everything

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by Ben H. Winters
     
 

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There has been a shocking crime at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School.

In a glass case in the front hall, a trophy—the trophy, the first trophy ever won in the school's lackluster competitive history—has been stolen.

Even more horrifying, an outraged Principal Van Vreeland has threatened to cancel the eighth graders' long-awaited,

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Overview

There has been a shocking crime at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School.

In a glass case in the front hall, a trophy—the trophy, the first trophy ever won in the school's lackluster competitive history—has been stolen.

Even more horrifying, an outraged Principal Van Vreeland has threatened to cancel the eighth graders' long-awaited, once-in-a-lifetime field trip to Taproot Valley unless the trophy is returned.

Self-appointed sleuth extraordinaire Bethesda Fielding is confident she'll be able to track down the culprit and save her class trip. But the clock is ticking, and unless she can solve this baffling mystery, the eighth graders will be doomed to a Week of a Thousand Quizzes instead. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
PRAISE FOR THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EVERYTHING: “Middle-school antics and general good humor will surely strike the right chord.”
Booklist
“This is a just-plain-fun read that culminates in a wholly satisfying ending, and it will easily appeal to fans of Andrew Clements and Gordon Korman, as well as anyone who ever watched School of Rock or High School Musical and imagined putting on the best show ever.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
PRAISE FOR THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EVERYTHING: “Middle-school antics and general good humor will surely strike the right chord.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
PRAISE FOR THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EVERYTHING: “Middle-school antics and general good humor will surely strike the right chord.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
PRAISE FOR THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EVERYTHING: “Middle-school antics and general good humor will surely strike the right chord.
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
In her second laugh-worthy outing, Bethesda Fielding proves herself to be the best girl detective since Harriet first spied. When the gymnastics trophy won by pretty and poisonous Pamela Preston disappears from its place in the school trophy case, Principal Van Vreeland vows to find the thief by forcing a confession with week-long tests in every subject and cancellation of the eighth grade's long- awaited nature trip. Bethesda arms herself with a stack of suspects and a notebook of clues, and endeavors to find the crook on her own. What she finds, instead, is that many of her classmates have more mysteries in their personal lives than she ever suspected. Ben Winters has created a cast of caricatures: a brainiac with a major crush, an airhead retro music fan, an insecure new student concealing her flaws behind a stack of books. The nice thing is that all of these caricatures are multi-dimensional, funny but believable in a middle school universe. Winters also captures the fluid nature of early adolescent friendships, the easily back-and-forth loyalties that change from day to day. While Principal Van Vreeland is a meanie on par with Miss Trunchbull, she is nicely balanced by Ida Finkleman, the music teacher with a glamorous past who actually cares about her students and always has their backs. There is a bucketful of red herrings in this book to send readers down every possible wrong path, and Bethesda's and Tenny's plan to get the thief (or thieves) into the open is broad and perhaps predictable. Overall, this book is a quick-reading delight that with lots of identifiable characters and a clever, resourceful heroine who will charm middle readers. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 4�7—Bethesda Fielding, previously featured in The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman (Harper, 2010), is now an eighth grader at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School. She relishes solving a good mystery and gets the chance to do so when the school's lone sports trophy is stolen from a glass case near the office. Principal Van Vreeland, portrayed in broad caricature, overreacts to the theft by canceling all school trips, even the popular week of outdoor education at Taproot Valley. In response, Bethesda determines to solve the crime, and the plot moves along in a humorous and engaging style while the mystery seems to expand in several unforeseen directions. For instance, someone tries to thwart her investigation by flattening her bike tires and filling her locker with silly string. And her friend Tenny Boyer, whom she recruits to interview suspects, won't divulge why he has returned to MTLMS after beginning the year at another school. Noises in the school's ductwork and the letters "IOM" inscribed on the wall of the smashed trophy case add further puzzling details. Ms. Finkleman gets involved by seeking funds for the eighth grade's "Save Taproot Valley" Web video. At an assembly, she fingers Tenny as the culprit in a dramatic effort to catch the real thief. Winters differentiates his large cast of characters by providing insights into a variety of adolescent vulnerabilities, making this a case that will interest both solid and reluctant mystery readers.—Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Kirkus Reviews

Now an eighth grader, aspiring detective Bethesda Fielding reprises her semi-successful sleuthing in The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman (2010) to tackle Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School's latest mystery.

A few weeks before the long-awaited eighth-grade trip to Camp Taproot, Pamela Preston's gymnastics trophy mysteriously vanishes from the school Achievement Alcove, prompting diabolical Principal Van Vreeland to overreact by cancelling the trip, unless the culprit confesses to the theft of the school's only trophy. Equipped with a new notebook to track the scanty clues (broken glass, empty trophy case, suspicious red specks and the initials IOM written on the wall), Bethesda's instantly "on the case," promising everyone she will solve the crime and save the class trip. Bethesda's stymied as the trip approaches, though, and Principal Van Vreeland vindictively threatens students with a week of quizzes if the crime isn't solved. Blaming Bethesda for letting them down, classmates orchestrate a desperate "Save Taproot Valley" video project, and she learns a painful lesson in not jumping to wrong conclusions. Featuring the same cast of eccentric teachers and eclectic students, this zany sequel offers another fast-moving middle-school puzzler, lots of pre- and early teen humor and one relentless sleuth who's willing to admit when she's wrong.

Fans will cheer more mystery and mayhem at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School. (Mystery. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061965463
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,393,180
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Ben H. Winters is an author and educator who has written plays and musicals for children and adults, as well as several books in the bestselling Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide series. He is also the author of The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, Bedbugs, and the parody novels Android Karenina and the bestselling Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. He lives in Indianapolis.

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