by Sherie Posesorski
Second Story Press, 2010
$10.95, 224 pp, ages 13 – 18
The summer is dragging by slowly. To avoid the tensions at home Phoebe spends her days riding her bike, reading and texting her new friend Yuri who is spending the summer in Tokyo. Phoebe is bored and her sense of isolation grows by the day. She has spent the last school year in a new city and with a new stepdad, separated from her old friends and family members. To help escape her loneliness, Phoebe, with Yuri’s encouragement, is reading through the Agatha Christie series of detective novels.
One day while riding her bike along the Tour de France route, Phoebe stops at a garage sale. She ends up spending the day helping Mrs. Tomblin—a sweet but confused older woman. When a few days later the house is broken into and Mrs. Tomblin is robbed and hurt, Phoebe takes it upon herself to watch out after her elderly friend and to solve the mystery of the robbery.
Classroom Connections: Could Mrs. Tomblin’s collection of old photographs be the motive for the robbery? Why was Mrs. Tomblin’s son Richard harassing her to sign the insurance claims forms? Just how vulnerable are people with Alzheimer’s in our society? What supports are available for people like her? These are just a few of the many questions that arise while reading this novel, making it a great choice for literature circle discussions and the teaching of questioning and inferring as two powerful reading strategies.
Review by Brenda Boreham.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue.