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The Mystery of the Gold Coin

The Mystery of the Gold Coin

by Harper Paris, Marcos Calo (Illustrator)

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In the first book of this new chapter book series about mystery, travel, and adventure, twins Ethan and Ella must find a missing coin before they move away from their hometown!

When Ethan and Ella learn that their mother has accepted the position of travel writer for The Brookeston Times, they are not happy. Move away from Brookeston? Say good-bye to all


In the first book of this new chapter book series about mystery, travel, and adventure, twins Ethan and Ella must find a missing coin before they move away from their hometown!

When Ethan and Ella learn that their mother has accepted the position of travel writer for The Brookeston Times, they are not happy. Move away from Brookeston? Say good-bye to all their friends? What could be worse? Their mom and dad promise them that this will be a great experience, but that doesn’t make the kids feel any better.

The day before they are set to leave, their beloved Grandpa Harry stops by. As a gift, he gives Ella a pretty journal since he knows she loves to write, and he gives Ethan a gold coin that Ethan decides he will always keep in his pocket. But the morning of their departure, Ethan realizes he's lost the coin! Together, he and Ella must retrace their steps from the day before. Will they solve the mystery of the missing coin before it’s time to head to the airport?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Greetings from Somewhere chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
This launch title in a new chapter book series, “Greetings from Somewhere,” introduces second-grade twins Ethan and Ella Briar, who learn that their mother has accepted a new job as a travel writer for the local paper: the family is about to be whisked off to different foreign cities, with the twins to be homeschooled by their professor dad. Although the twins decide that this is the “Worst. News. Ever,” they are distracted from their resentment when the strange-looking gold coin Grandpa Harry gives them as a farewell present disappears on the eve of their departure. The twins now need to spend their last hours in Brookeston solving the mystery of its disappearance, which also allows them to make a final tour of their favorite haunts and realize that they are indeed lucky to be heading off on globetrotting adventures. And who knows, they might even find more mysteries to solve…Paris keeps the mystery simple enough that second graders could indeed solve it, and Ethan and Ella are refreshingly close and supportive of each other. Abundant illustrations appearing on almost every page make this an appealing package for emerging readers who should enjoy tagging along with the twins on their forthcoming travels. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.; Ages 6 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
Second-grade twins prepare to leave the country, but not without first solving a time-sensitive mystery. Ella and Ethan Briar are devastated by their parents' announcement that the family is leaving their beloved hometown. Mrs. Briar has accepted a new job as a travel writer, a job that will send the family to new places all over the globe on a weekly basis. In an attempt to soothe the twins' unhappiness about the move ("What about school? And soccer?" they ask), their grandfather—a retired, globe-trotting archaeologist himself—gives each a special gift for their travels. Mystery-writing Ella gets a journal; Ethan gets a special gold coin. On their last morning in town, Ethan realizes that his gold coin is missing—and they only have a few hours before they have to leave for the airport. While their grandfather does their chores, the twins methodically determine when Ethan last had the coin—the previous day—and make a list of places he visited to retrace his steps. This allows the twins to say goodbye to friendly faces throughout the town. This series-launching installment's light on mystery, but it's welcoming and accessible through expressive, frequent illustrations. The Mystery of the Mosaic, publishing simultaneously, takes the kids to Venice for their first overseas adventure. Not terribly remarkable, but the series has lots of growing room. (Mystery. 5-7)

Product Details

Little Simon
Publication date:
Greetings from Somewhere Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)
490L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Mystery of the Gold Coin


The Surprise

“So what’s the surprise?” Ethan Briar asked.

“Yeah, what is it, Mom and Dad?” Ethan’s twin sister, Ella, chimed in.

Their mother, Josephine, smiled nervously. Their father, Andy, reached over and squeezed her hand. Ella tried to guess what they were going to say. Was it going to be a new puppy? Or maybe cool matching bikes?

“Ta-da! We’re moving,” Mr. Briar announced.

“You mean to a new house?” Ella asked, confused.

Mrs. Briar shook her head. “No, not to a new house. I just accepted a new job. I’m going to be the travel writer for the Brookeston Times.”

“So why do we have to move? The Brookeston Times is in Brookeston,” Ella pointed out. The Times was their town’s newspaper—everyone read it.

“That’s the exciting part,” Mr. Briar said. “Starting next week we’ll be traveling to different foreign cities so your mom can write about them.”

“Foreign, like, another country?” Ethan asked.

“Yes,” Mr. Briar said happily. “Like Spain and England and Peru and India and—”

“Wait! Did you say next week?” Ella interrupted.

“Yep. We’re leaving next Sunday,” Mrs. Briar said.

“Next Sunday?!” Ethan exclaimed. “What about school? And soccer?”

“And our friends? And Grandpa Harry? Will we be able to visit them?” Ella asked.

“Well . . . ,” Mrs. Briar paused. “Not right away. But we can stay in touch with everyone. And, of course, we’ll come back to Brookeston—”

“Someday. We’re just not yet sure when,” Mr. Briar finished.


Ethan put his fork down. Ella had lost her appetite, too.

“It’ll be the adventure of a lifetime,” Mr. Briar said brightly. “We’ll see some of the most incredible sights in the world! Places like the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower in France—”

“Do they have soccer in China and France?” Ethan cut in.

“Yes, of course! And as for school, we’ve already spoken to Principal McDermott. I’ll be homeschooling you both,” Mr. Briar went on.

Mr. Briar was a history professor at Brookeston University. He was supersmart. He knew stuff like who invented the boogie board (Tom Morey) and the name of the first king of England (Egbert).

Still, Ella could not imagine their dad being their teacher. He didn’t sing silly “good morning” songs like their real second-grade teacher, Mrs. Applebaum. And he didn’t serve green milk on St. Patrick’s Day, either.

Meet the Author

Harper Paris loves to travel. Her favorite cities in the world are Paris (like her name!) and New York City. She has collected many souvenirs on her travels, including a good-luck coin from Japan and a reindeer-horn pendant from Sweden. She also loves mysteries. When she was a kid, she read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books after bedtime with a flashlight. She now lives with her family (including two cats and a bunny, who are not good travelers) in Ithaca, New York.

Marcos Calo has worked as a professional artist for more than fourteen years. He has worked in different fields including illustration, animation, and comic books. He lives with his wife and daughter in A Coruña, a small Spanish town by the seaside.

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