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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part One by Gene Luen Yang
Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder
Cat vs Human: Another Dose of Catnip by Yasmine Surovec
Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain by Valeri Gorbachev
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Darned if You Do by Monica Ferris
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Framed! by James Ponti
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat
How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown
The Journey of the Penguin by Emiliano Ponzi
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
Kiki and Jacques by Susan Ross
A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Lost Cat by Caroline Paul
Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby
OCDaniel by Wesley King
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale
Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Sticks & Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Valley of Kings by Michael Northrop
You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo

Miscellaneous
Favorite books of 2016 by month
Favorite Own Voices read in 2016
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Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy read in 2016

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Framed!: 12/19/16

Framed! by James Ponti

Framed! by James Ponti is the first in the TOAST middle grade mystery series. TOAST stands for Theory of All Small Things — a form of inductive reasoning similar to what Sherlock Holmes is known for.

Florian Bates is newly moved to Washington, DC. His parents work at the National Gallery so he and his new friend, Margaret, are able to spot some things amiss — things that help track down the identity of an art thief.

For the most part, this book is a fun mystery — part caper, part Sherlockian pastiche. For the caper part — the art theft — I'm reminded of the season two episode, "A Steele at Any Price" of Remington Steele.

The other mystery occupying Florian's time is the identity of Margaret's parents. She was left as an infant at a firehouse and she wants to know if Florian's TOAST technique can work.

All of this is told in a coherent, fast paced, compelling fashion. There's just one annoying detail — the extended flashback. The whole thing starts with Florian being kidnapped by a Safeway. And then rather than telling us how he escapes or if he needs rescuing, we're treated to the rest of this story — of him moving to DC, meeting Margaret, the art theft, the FBI, and so forth.

There's absolutely nothing about the rest of the book that needs a kidnapping as a hook. Florian is a well written, believable character — someone who is smart but not weirdly so. A lot of his smarts come from a wide variety of experiences. Margaret, is just as well written and smart in her own but different than Florian way. Their meeting flows organically into her learning how to do TOAST and to them uncovering the art theft and to Florian later recognizing his kidnapper. It does not need a flashback.

Four stars

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