Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ARC Review: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil

Synopsis:

Sophie, Margaret, Becca, and Leigh Ann are back in an all-new Red Blazer Girls caper. In the third installment, Sophie is nose to fist with her arch-rival, Livvy, all while taking care of movie-star Nate Etan's dog, when Father Julian hires the Blazers to help him authenticate a painting. Mayhem and mystery follows as the girls attempt to uncover the truth. Oh, and, uh, Sophie's friend-who-is-not-a-boyfriend, Raf, is back. . . . Here's another charming and engaging adventure starring these four every-girl sleuths that's perfect for readers 10-up.

Details:

Publication date: June 14th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Elliott Review:

This book is a refreshing, fun book filled with sleuthing and adventure. The young narrator, Sophie, has an authentic voice that young girls (and boys, too) would find highly readable, making them feel as though they are along for the ride as the girls begin another case, this time as a personal favor to Father Julian. 

The main case involves a forged painting and some old photographs, and the girls have to work hard (and get lucky a few times) to help Father Julian get the painting in the hands of its rightful owner. However, there are many subplots and foibles that the girls get involved in, those every day mysteries that middle school students do sometimes encounter. These subplots within this book keep it moving and keep it real. Sophie has to deal with boyfriend pressures and finding out her sworn enemy might not be as bad as she thought. She has to deal with learning how and when to say "no" and how to make the best out of a bad situation.

This book is filled with good, clean fun, giving readers just enough clues for the very sleuth-like reader to be able to guess the truth about the multiple paintings. Others (like me), who are not as observant and scientific, can discover the truth about the case right along with the girls. This definitely fills a void in middle grade literature.

Young Adult Warnings:

None

Source: Thanks to Diane of the Saima Agency for providing a copy of this book for a fair review.

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