Samantha (Sam) Archer and friends Cat, Gum and Egg, join their sixth grade classmates for the annual October field trip. Since it takes place on a Saturday, there "doesn't have to be any educational value at all." (Therefore, it is automatically and understandably everyone's favorite field trip of the year.) In this case, the much-anticipated destination is Fun City, a local amusement park. However, this being one of the "Field Trip Mysteries" series, it isn't long before Sam literally bumps into a suspicious-looking character, complete with long coat and nervous demeanor, who immediately informs her that "the park is a dangerous place." His words remind Cat that a tragedy of some sort did in fact happen in this very place twenty years earlier. When the heroes get stuck in the haunted house, and not only find cut cables, but a picture of the same man from twenty years ago, they are forced to wonder: is he there to prevent another tragedy...or to repeat it? Like the other "Field Trip Mysteries," the format is very reader-friendly: frequent and colorful illustrations; a "Detective's Dictionary" of terms (culprit, sabotage); and even a fun, fact-filled report on amusement parks. If that isn't enough, there is a terrific Capstone Kids website filled with games, quizzes and other activities. The Field Trip Mysteries section includes very cool "spy kit downloadables" like a fingerprint database. All in all, this series (and the website) should provide hours of enjoyment as well as information. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner
Steve Brezenoff is the author ofmore than fiftymiddle-grade chapter books, includingthe Field Trip Mysteries series, the Ravens Pass series of thrillers, and the Return to the Titanic series. In his spare time, he enjoys video games, cycling, and cooking. Steve lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Beth, and their son and daughter.
Spanish-born Marcos Calo began his career working for various Spanish animation studios as a concept artist for CGI movies. During that time he also worked freelance doing illustration, commercial work, and occasionally comic books. Marcos usually works digitally, although he still likes to start his drawings on paper first. After wandering around different cities, he is finally settled in A Coruña, where his collection of comics and picture books is always growing.