Max Finder Mystery
Collected Casebook, Volume 5
by Craig Battle
illustrated by Ramón Pérez, created by Liam O’Donnell
Owlkids Publishing, 2011
ISBN 978-1-926818-12-2 (pb)
$11.95, 96 pp, ages 8+
This graphic novel is the fifth instalment of the popular and award-winning series that was originally published in OWL Magazine. Max Finder and his friends from Central Meadows Junior High School team up to solve ten cases. Included in this volume are two new stories, an article on “How to be a Detective” and a short interview with the creators. Each case is presented in four to six pages that feature full-colour illustrations, and the solution with an explanation follows. Things like graffiti on the walls, sabotage of a school show try-out, the disappearance of exam answer sheets and bullies are all life experiences of the intended audience and so these cases will be familiar. Max Finder mysteries are popular in my schools and I bet in yours as well.
Classroom Connections: Graphic novels are a wonderful way to introduce visual literacy. The pictures are still and the reader can take all the time necessary to focus on details. But to solve these mysteries, the reader must also look for clues in the dialogue bubbles and text boxes. Attention to detail is definitely a skill that is reinforced here. For the teacher, there are tips on how to use Max Finder in the classroom with an emphasis on reluctant reader strategies.
Review by Mary Moroska.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue.