Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're exploring another title from the folks over at Zonderkidz (aka Zondervan) that just so happens to be the second one in a Middle Grade series. Can it be read as a stand alone? Why certainly....but why would you want to when you can have TWICE the fun! ^-^ Without further ado, let's get on with the show because there's a mystery afoot and who better than to solve it all than Andi Boggs and Colin Carter in today's book of choice...
About the book....
Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology. From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal. Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good.
Book one (Andi Unexpected) introduced us to Andi and Colin. We got our feet wet, learned about each and the other, and discovered that some people will do anything to get ahead in this world, even use the secrets of others to better themselves. This time around, Andi and Colin are still best friends, still smarter than the average twelve-year-olds...and still getting into trouble. How so? Well they aren't CAUSING it if that's what you were thinking, rather they are getting into hot water while trying to solve all the trouble going on around them. Small pranks lead up to an explosion that could have had dire consequences, and unless the culprit is brought to justice, the camp will have to close. Don't worry, Andi and Colin won't take this one lying down....and neither should you!
It's a case of blaming the most obvious suspect when perhaps the one that seems least likely is actually the cause. It's very cloak and dagger even though most of the things happening are mischief as opposed to actual crimes. It keeps the reading appropriate for the audience intended while maintaining the interests of those outside the age bracket (*raises hand*). I can honestly say that although I enjoyed the first read, I think THIS one would be my favorite of the two. The story and plot were not quite as involved as the first, allowing readers the chance to pick through the mystery and sort out the clues alongside the characters. Whoever said that every author hits a sophomore slump, didn't know Ms. Flowers.
Overall, the story is realistic, the characters highly likeable (even those you're not suppose to like and vice versa), and the ending a treat for one and all. I do believe that our little Miss Andora Boggs, excuse me...Andi...has a bright future ahead of her, as does her friend Colin. Who knows what they'll get up to next? I can tell you this....I for one can't wait to see. Recommended read for Middle Grade fans of all ages and beyond.
Review copy received courtesy of the great team over at Zonderkidz/Zondervan. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their growing catalog, be sure to stop by their official site. This title was released September 2014, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!