Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: James Preller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Jigsaw Jones has a new mystery to solve. Ralphie cannot find Old Rusty, his beat-up, hand-me-down bike. While looking at books in the library, it was taken from the bike rack. It’s up to Jigsaw to piece together the clues and find the bike. All Jigsaw knows is that his own bike, a nice new one, was not stolen, even though their bikes were locked up with the same lock. There were also three suspicious skateboarders in the area during the time of the theft, but no one knows who they are. Jigsaw, along with the help of Mila, is Ralphie’s only hope of solving the mystery.
This mystery is quick paced and easy to follow. Preller uses foreshadowing to help the reader draw connections between clues and predict who they think the thief is. The plot is predictable for older audiences, but for young readers it will be a tougher case to crack. There is frequent dialogue between Jigsaw Jones and his friends, and there are clear descriptions of the setting and plot. On average, there is an illustration every two or three pages, which helps set the scene. Similes are used frequently and Preller uses authentic detective vocabulary like 'witnesses,' 'stakeout,' 'spy,' and 'mystery.' This helps expand the reader’s vocabulary. This book is a great short chapter book and will keep the reader engaged and guessing through the end.