The Spaghetti Detectives

( 2 )

Overview


1 String of Spaghetti + 2 Friends = A Noodle-Cooking, Crime-Solving Adventure!

Sometimes Rico acts a bit odd -- his mom calls him a "proddity" -- but he's GENIUS at noticing little things nobody else does. Like a string of spaghetti stuck to the sidewalk. Or the big buckteeth of that boy in the blue motorcycle helmet. Or the strange behavior of the neighbors in his apartment building.

Oscar is a true prodigy, with a high IQ and high anxieties ...

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The Spaghetti Detectives

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Overview


1 String of Spaghetti + 2 Friends = A Noodle-Cooking, Crime-Solving Adventure!

Sometimes Rico acts a bit odd -- his mom calls him a "proddity" -- but he's GENIUS at noticing little things nobody else does. Like a string of spaghetti stuck to the sidewalk. Or the big buckteeth of that boy in the blue motorcycle helmet. Or the strange behavior of the neighbors in his apartment building.

Oscar is a true prodigy, with a high IQ and high anxieties to match. He's the one who wears the blue helmet -- to protect his precious brain! Oscar may have a lot of book smarts, but he needs Rico's help to face his biggest fears. And when other kids mysteriously start going missing, it's up to the two friends to use their noodles, keep track of the clues, and crack the case!

Funny, sweet, and just the right amount of scary, THE SPAGHETTI DETECTIVES shows how two opposite, seemingly mismatched kids can put their heads together and be better as a pair.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally published in Germany, this novel, which has the feel of a middle-grade variation on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is narrated by Rico, a self-described "child proddity. That's a bit like being a child prodigy, but also like the opposite." Though Rico never specifies his medical condition, he notes that his "head is sometimes as topsy-turvy as a barrel full of lottery balls," an analogy borne out by monologues that ricochet from topic to topic. After finding a strand of spaghetti on the sidewalk outside his Berlin apartment building, Rico goes in search of additional pieces of pasta. At a playground, he meets Oscar, an actual prodigy who, expecting the worst, insists on wearing a helmet. Though readers may find the pace languid, it picks up when Oscar becomes a victim of a serial kidnapper and Rico attempts to find his friend. In his English-language debut, Steinhöfel introduces a diverse and well-developed cast; Rico's scattershot narration won't be for everyone, but his singular, inquisitive perspective makes for a drily funny and gratifying mystery. Ages 8–12. (July)
Children's Literature - Jody Little
Rico calls himself a child "proddity." He is confused by words and directionally challenged, but when he meets Oscar, a young boy who wears a crash helmet at all times, Rico feels like he has met a true friend. A recent string of local kidnappings has everyone in Rico's apartment complex on edge. When Oscar becomes the victim of the kidnapper, Rico is determined to help. He questions adults in his building and one former victim, but he gets confused and misses important clues. Rico is determined to find his friend, though, and when he does, he is surprised to learn the truth about the kidnapper and how his friend was taken. The book's whimsical title leads one to believe the story is light and funny, but it is far from that. Author Steinhofel creates endearing characters, and it is difficult not to root for underdogs, Rico and Oscar, but despite the characters' charm, Rico is in danger for much of the novel. His mother regularly leaves him alone, and his search for the kidnappers is frightening and disturbing. This middle grade novel is not for everyone. Reviewer: Jody Little
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545289757
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 976,745
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


ANDREAS STEINHOFEL is an award-winning German writer whose first book, the YA novel DIRK UND ICH, was published when he was still in college. THE SPAGHETTI DETECTIVES was awarded the prestigious German Youth Literature Prize in 2009. In addition to writing books for young readers, Andreas works as a translator, writes for TV and radio, reviews books, and edits graphic novels. He lives in Berlin, Germany.
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted January 18, 2013

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