The Wig in the Window
  • The Wig in the Window
  • The Wig in the Window

The Wig in the Window

5.0 4
by Kristen Kittscher
     
 

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Sophie Young and Grace Yang: best friends, seventh graders, spies.

Equipped with walkie-talkies, binoculars, and candy, the girls sneak out for one of their midnight spy missions expecting a simple stakeout. But what starts as a silly game turns very real when they peek in on Luna Vista's notoriously bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka

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Overview

Sophie Young and Grace Yang: best friends, seventh graders, spies.

Equipped with walkie-talkies, binoculars, and candy, the girls sneak out for one of their midnight spy missions expecting a simple stakeout. But what starts as a silly game turns very real when they peek in on Luna Vista's notoriously bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward).

Is there more to Dr. Agford than her tacky clothes and sugary falsetto voice? Sophie and Grace are convinced something sinister lurks below the surface . . . and they just might be right. Soon they're racing to outsmart the suspicious counselor—all while cracking secret codes, dodging a mysterious blue car, and keeping tabs on strangers with unibrows and Texas twangs.

But the strain of the investigation pushes the girls further apart. Even if Sophie and Grace uncover the truth about Agford in time, will their friendship survive?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"We'd only been running night missions since the start of the school year, when Grace had decided twelve was the right age to train for a real FBI career," says seventh-grader Sophie Young about the midnight spy exercises she conducts with her best friend, Grace Yang, in their sleepy town of Luna Vista, Calif. On one such night, they witness what appears to be their odd school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford, murdering someone in her kitchen. Armed with gadgets, Grace's full-speed-ahead attitude, and wisdom from Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the none-too-similar best friends work together to solve the mystery, which comes to light through a series of red herrings that maintain tension. First in a planned series, Kittscher's debut novel addresses the inevitable rocky periods in middle-school friendships with perceptiveness, honesty, and well-targeted humor that avoids being cartoonish. The two would-be sleuths navigate one ludicrous predicament after another, and readers should sympathize with the girls as an innocent bit of espionage lands them in some serious hot water. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (June)
Children's Literature - Zella Cunningham
Young and Yang, Super sleuths! Sophie Young and Grace Yang are middle school students whose curiosity and spy senses uncover a criminal case involving a fugitive. Charlotte Agford, the Luna Vista Middle School counselor, appeared in Sophie's neighborhood two years ago. There is not a clue to her existence before then. Sophie Young overhears a one-sided phone conversation between Agford and a mystery person, Danny, and it is enough to activate her spy antenna. What is Agford hiding behind her fake voice, fake hair, and fake body parts? The girls' attempts at solving the mystery land them in trouble with their parents, the school, the police, and threatens their friendship. The only ring of implausibility in an otherwise well-written story is the unlikely plot involving young students in an investigation that is dangerous and possibly deadly. Young readers will enjoy the familiar characters: Trent Spinner, the class bully, and his followers, Trista, the class misfit who comes to the rescue, and Clarissa and the other "-issas," Agford's S.M.I.L.E, a group of girls who report Sophie's actions to the counselor and exclude those they deem unworthy of membership. Young readers who are interested in an exciting, action-packed story line will enjoy this book. Reviewer: Zella Cunningham
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Twelve-year-old Sophie Young and her best friend, Grace Yang, have been sneaking out of their houses for midnight spy missions in hopes of catching criminals on the FBI's Most Wanted list. What has seemed like a game suddenly becomes serious when they stumble through the yard of Sophie's school counselor and witness her chopping wildly with a cleaver. Although it turns out that Dr. Agford was merely cutting up beets for her latest batch of pickled vegetables, Sophie and Grace still suspect that she is hiding something sinister. As the girls try to discern the truth, Sophie finds herself in situations both awkward and terrifying, and she wonders if her friendship with Grace will last through their investigation. This fast-paced, action-packed romp has all the ingredients of a great mystery, and it does not leave out the angst felt by so many middle schoolers. Readers will see themselves and their friends in Sophie and her classmates, and they will have a difficult time tearing themselves away.—Sarah Reid, Broome County Public Library, Binghamton, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Mayhem ensues when 12-year-olds Grace and Sophie spot the school counselor in the act of bloody murder. The friends have been sneaking around on imaginative, late-night spying missions for some time, but they've been pretty tame. This changes when they see the already mysterious, cloyingly sweet and very unpleasant Dr. Agford attacking something--somebody?--with a streaming red cleaver, overhear her suspicious phone conversation and then decide to call 911. The call is traced to Sophie's phone, and she takes full blame, since it turns out Agford was apparently just chopping beets. The girls, though, still think she's up to something. Agford decides to begin "counseling" Sophie to keep tabs on her, kids at school begin to harass her, and the suspense ratchets up as the girls investigate the counselor's background--and her bizarre wig. An FBI agent who at first seems likely to help begins to look threatening. Sensible and smart but socially ostracized fellow student Trista proves to be the voice of reason as Sophie's world begins to fall apart. Sophie's first-person narration rings true and makes the growing peril feel ominously real. Ample red herrings keep young sleuths and engaged readers guessing in this thrilling debut mystery. Reminiscent of the ever-compelling film Rear Window, this appealing and often spine-tingling tale will leave its audience wishing for more. (Mystery. 11-13)
Kirsten Miller
“A witty, weird and wonderful book, The Wig in the Window’s trouble-making detectives kept me laughing—while the suspense had me inching towards the edge of my seat. It’s a perfect middle grade mystery!
Kate Messner
“This book is funny, realistic, and suspenseful —a pitch-perfect mystery for the tween set.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062110503
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Pages:
351
Sales rank:
406,876
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.18(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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