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Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook
A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator) Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah
The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library by Alice Kimberly
Lucy in the Sky by Kiara Brinkman and Sean Chiki (Illustrations)
March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Illustrator)
Marmalade's Nap by Cindy Wheeler
One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett
1, 2, 3 Salish Sea: a Pacific Northwest Counting Book by Nikki McClure
Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin (Illustrations)
Purrder She Wrote by Cate Conte
Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay
Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator)
The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O'Neill
This Is Venice by Miroslav Sasek
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Turning Point by Paula Chase

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Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs: 09/23/21

Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs

Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns is the second book in the middle grade adventure series. Along with her map umbrella, Samantha now has a special pair of purple tinted glasses. They help her spot hidden clues near the entrances to things marked on the umbrella. She hopes that together she can find Uncle Paul.

Samantha and her brother Nipper have a message from Uncle Paul: watch out for the SUN. Is it a clue to finding him or a warning of new troubles on the horizon?

In Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans, Samantha and Nipper became a well oiled team over the coarse of the book. Each had skills they brought to the puzzle solving table. In this volume, the siblings seem to backtrack both in terms of individual skills and in their ability to cooperate.

Because the two siblings aren't cooperating as well as they had been they miss a couple obvious clues. Missing these clues results in them heading off in the wrong direction, meaning there could have been an entirely different novel here.

There's also a weird interlude where the siblings spend time with their eldest sister. She's now living in New York and is in the process of putting on a very strange sounding play. New York is complex enough of a place, I expected the novel to focus the adventures in the Big Apple. That's not what happens because that adventure is foiled by the siblings' lack of communication.

Although the adventures were more misadventures, the siblings' travels do sit on the Road Narrative Spectrum, just as the first book does.

Chart showing the progression between the two books on the road narrative spectrum.

As the ultimate goal is set in New York City and involves the siblings and their parents, the traveler this time is the family (33). The destination is once again the city (00). The route is once again the the railroad (or the super secret highway of transportation the kids have been exploring).

The third book is Samantha Spinner and the Boy in the Ball (2020).

Four stars

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