Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Marcia Wells
Illustrator: Marcos Calo
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Eddie Red goes on vacation to Mexico with his parents and his friend Jonah. While there, an antique Mayan mask is stolen from the hotel lobby, and the police think Eddie’s dad is the thief. Eddie and Jonah decide they have to solve the crime to save Eddie’s dad. They encounter a street gang, the police chief’s daughter, and other characters in their quest for the truth. They also get themselves into lots of trouble, including a broken arm for Eddie and a brief hospital stay for Jonah. Eventually Eddie’s powers of observation help them discover who the thief really is and they are able to aid the police in catching the thief.
This is a fun story, if a little unbelievable, that young kids will enjoy. The story does a good job promoting family and doing what’s right. Sometimes kids think differently than adults; this is neither good nor bad. Because they are so worried about Eddie’s father, the kids in the book take some chances that are not very smart. They allow themselves to get into dangerous situations. On the other hand, because they are young they notice events that sometimes adults gloss over. This helps them to think outside the box and look for clues and solutions where adults might not. These two different perspectives would be good for discussion in a classroom. Helping kids to recognize when they are crossing the line into danger could be very beneficial in today’s world.