Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Jennifer Richard Jacobson writes Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery. Abby Carter illustrates the fifth installment in the Andy Shane Series. The early reader chapter book has fifty-six pages divided into four chapters. The mystery and detective book is appropriate for first and second grade students moving from picture books to chapter books.
Granny Webb’s unbirthday is forthcoming and Andy Shane wants to purchase a special gift. The fostered boy has a small, but a serious problem. He has no money. However, he and Dolores Starbuckle decide to have a barn sale. Yeah, the sale is a success, but the kids mistakenly sell Granny Webb’s binoculars. They must get them back.
This precipitates the pair to become detectives. Readers along with the young detectives learn to list clues and draw logical conclusions. Andy and Dolores do three lists before finding the binoculars. Later, in Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery, Andy has to decide. He has money enough to buy back the binoculars, but not so the case. Andy trades his bike for the case to ensure Granny Webb’s happiness.
Jennifer Richard Jacobson writes the detective portion very well. Andy and Dolores obtain very good clues from observations. Abby Carter blacks pencil and black watercolor washes illustrates the three lists. Juveniles can see clearly the numbered clues. Ms. Jacobson writes heavy-handedly the portion about sacrificing for the happiness of others. Also, Andy sacrifice would be more meaningful, if she described the bike in better condition and closer to Andy’s heart.
Dolores Starbuckle in Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery is not as bossy as in Andy Shane and the Pumpkin Trick. It is an earlier mystery. Andy and Dolores work as equals and great friends. Therefore, readers familiar with the pair and did not like Dolores’ dominance over Andy can enjoy this early chapter book in the Andy Shane series.