Thursday, June 26, 2008

Book Review and Giveaway: Alec Flint Super Sleuth: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure

First--the book giveaway: Scholastic is running an Alec Flint, Super Sleuth contest. The first three people to e-mail with their mailing address, saying that they read this message on Big A little a and correctly cracking the coded message below will receive a free, autographed copy of The Nina, The Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure. (Hint: The key to Alec and Gina's code is over on

Here's the coded message that needs to be cracked: RM ULFIGVVM SFMWIVW MRMVGB GDL, XLOFNYFH HZROVW GSV LXVZM YOFV.

Get to it, super sleuths!

Now for the review:

Children love a good mystery and Jill Santopolo's Alec Flint Super Sleuth: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure delivers.

Alec Flint is in the fourth grade and on a mission: He's in training to become a super sleuth. His training program is mostly self-designed, but Alec does have one great advantage--his dad's a police officer. One morning, when Mom is away on a business trip, Alec tags along with Dad on a case. At the local history museum, the Christopher Columbus exhibit has gone missing.

Like most fourth graders, Alec Flint is tired of Christopher Columbus and the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. But this is a mystery too good to miss. Now all he needs are some clues and a partner.

A partner shows up where Alec least expects one--in the form of the smartest girl in his math class, Gina Rossi. She has a mystery of her own troubling her: What happened to their art teacher, Ms. Blume? Ms. Blume is mising, right before her wedding, and no one can find her to unlock the art cabinet at the school. Gina's just the partner Alec needs. Not only is she smart, but she brings her own mystery to the team (and a secret code to boot).

Alec Flint Super Sleuth: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure is the first in a series of mysteries written for children just reading chapter books on their own. Although Alec is in the fourth grade, this mystery is perfect for children as young as six if they are reading fluently. Alec is a character children will relate to--he's an earnest kid who is just looking to improve his sleuthing skills. Alec Flint has a great future with the elementary school market: Start practicing your code today!