The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth-and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it's up to her to find a suspect… starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she's found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined.
Megan Frazer Blakemore is the author of The Water Castle, which received a starred review from Kirkus, and the YA novel Secrets of Truth And Beauty which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was on the ALA Rainbow list. A former middle-school librarian, Megan lives in Maine with her family.
The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill 3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
This book was cute, but not what I was hoping for. The setting of a graveyard during the Cold War was fantastic. Hazel was a fun and entertaining protagonist that I loved reading about. Samuel is another great character and is very different from Hazel. They have to learn to accept each other and forgive each other as the occasion requires.
With great characters and a great setting, I expected more from the story, but it didn't measure up to my expectations. The mystery wasn't so much a mystery as it was speculation. It wasn't nearly as exciting or danger filled as I hoped for. It was more about Hazel and Samuel and them learning about friendship, gossip, and growing up. I think I would have liked the book more if my expectations had been different. As it was, I was expecting a mystery with a scary bad guy and instead got a book about friendship and small town rumors.
While I had hoped for a bigger mystery and higher stakes, it is still a good book. There aren't many books set in this time period, which makes this story unique in a way. This would be a fun read for middle grade kids that enjoy mild mysteries with interesting characters. If your child likes thrilling reads that will get their heart pounding, try a different book.
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cover: The cover is gorgeous. I love the illustration, and it makes the book look very mysterious.
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