Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kristen Kittscher
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Sophie and her best friend Grace are aspiring spies. They sneak around the neighborhood with their walkie-talkies, spying on anyone and everyone. It's all fun and games until they think they see their school guidance counselor, Charlotte Agford, murdering someone. It turns out to be a red, juicy pile of beets that she's attacking with her long kitchen knife, but something about her still seems different. The two friends continue to look for evidence so they can find out what she's up to. Contrasting evidence leads them to believe different things, and they aren't sure who to trust. A government agent comes to them looking for evidence on Agford, but the agent doesn't seem entirely trustworthy either. Sophie and Grace's friendship becomes strained, and typical junior high drama ensues. In the end, the two girls reconcile their friendship, and discover that Agford has committed a crime, though it's not quite the crime they were expecting.
The Wig in the Window is an excellent mystery novel with an intriguing plot, fun characters, and interesting themes. The best mystery novels are unpredictable, and this book has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. The reader is presented with so much contrasting evidence. Some moments make it seem like Agford is guilty, while others make her seem completely innocent. This is a difficult task, and the author presents this new information masterfully. The characters in this book are also super fun. Agford is one of those villains that the reader can enjoy hating. The author gives her the perfect mix of hilarity, vulnerability, and horribleness. Grace, Sophie, and Sophie's friend Trista have some teenage angst moments that are less enjoyable, but overall they are likable, sassy, and relatable main characters. One of the main themes of this book is to think critically about information you receive. Almost every time Sophie and Grace receive information, they jump to their first conclusion. This leads them astray time and time again. They learn that it's important to think critically.
*Contains mild language.