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The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers) Hardcover – October 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—Aspiring detective Steve Brixton, 12, gets more than he bargained for when he becomes mixed up with crime-fighting and undercover operatives who are also—librarians! Steve, an avid reader, has been diligently studying The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook and has turned into quite a supersleuth. He is working on a social-studies project on early American needlework (definitely not his choice) at the library, and checks out An Illustrated History of American Quilting when a man holds a gun to his head. It seems that all books have coded information in their Library of Congress numbers for the Librarians, who are highly trained intelligence agents. This clandestine society of crime-fighters suspects Steve is working for the mysterious Mr. E., who sells America's secrets. They plan on charging him with treason if he does not come clean about his involvement with the villain and his knowledge about a missing historical quilt that has major information embroidered on it. Barnett's fast-moving plot is sure to hold readers' attention, and children will love Steve's ability to outsmart many of the adults in the story. Incorporating mistaken identities, kidnapping, and a secret underground society, this is a fun, humorous adventure.—Mairead McInnes, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Mac Barnett is the author of the Brixton Brother series and several picture books, including Guess Again! and Chloe and the Lion (both illustrated by Adam Rex), and the New York Times bestseller Extra Yarn. He’s on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center, and founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers. Mac lives in Oakland, California.

Adam Rex has written and illustrated several picture books, including Tree Ring Circus and Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich as well as the novel, The True Meaning of Smekday. He and his wife live in Tucson, Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Series: Brixton Brothers (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416978151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416978152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kid walks into your library. Says he wants a mystery series. A new mystery series. You hand him Encyclopedia Brown. He withers you with a glance. You hand him Enola Holmes. His upper lip curls at the female protagonist (it happens). You hand him a recent Hardy Boys where they fight terrorists. He looks at you like he may be seriously doubting your sanity. You finally hand him The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett, the first in The Brixton Brothers series. He sighs in relief and then asks for the other books in the series. You tell him there is only one out right now. He kicks you in the shins. And, ladies and gentlemen, this little drama is soon to play out your home town any minute now. Countless young hoodlums will instantly find their desire for mystery and snarky self-aware writing satiated by this Mr. Barnett, only to find themselves infuriated by the (as of this review) lack of subsequent novels in the series. Reports of the death of the boy detective novel have been greatly exaggerated. It lives on the only way it can in this day and age; with a wink and a nod.

If there's one thing Steve Brixton knows about it's detective work. And why wouldn't he? A fan of the great Bailey Brothers book series, Steve is pretty confident that in the event of a crime he'd definitely be the one to solve it in the end. So all things considered, he's probably the perfect fellow to be mistaken for an evil spy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dry wit, an appealing hero, silly but not dumb - this book has it all. It's sort of a Hardy Boys parody, but it doesn't have any of that "look how clever we are" smarminess that you find in most parodies of middle school and ya stalwarts. The pace is fast, but not the overly frantic breathlessness designed to cover up poor writing. It's just fun, and I would expect it to appeal to a wide range of readers.

I have seen a number of reviews and comments designed to market this book to "boys and reluctant readers". Lots of times that's a category filled with fart/booger/underpants books, which is unfair to boys, farts, and reluctant readers, (whatever, exactly, that group might be). While I understand, sort of, why some books are marketed that way, it really does an injustice to this book. This book will appeal to boys, girls, reluctant readers, and avid readers, because it is a good book.

Actually, it seems that this book might be considered the modern version of the Hardy Boys. Probably everyone who was a young reader read a few Hardy Boys books, and most people remember them with a certain fondness. But, if you have tried one lately you might have been surprised by how slow and simple they are, and how dead the prose and characterization is. The Brixton books are hipper, leaner, funnier, better plotted and, of course, more current. The mysteries themselves are also better. So, if you think your young reader might like the Hardy Boys, you might want to consider putting this in his hands instead.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Johnson on February 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My 10 year old son isn't one to get into a book. Not for lack of my trying: I've got a huge children's library and have introduced lots of different genres. "The Brixton Brothers" is a GEM. My son devoured it like nothing since "Skinnybones". A perfect combination of action, adventure, and humor, "The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity" is an engaging read for 3-5th graders. The brillant tounge-in-cheek humor and great story line makes this a kind of "National Treasure" -like entertainment. We look forward to many more!!! From this first installment, I would characterize "The Brixton Brothers" as: Barbara Park's take on "The Hardy Boys" with a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" spin." Love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Steve Brixton gets a book about quilting out of the public library for a class project. Secret agent librarians stop him as he leaves the library. They tell him that his book has a code for a secret message in it. The message would tell you where the Maguffin Quilt is.

The Maguffin Quilt is a special quilt that was started in 1776 by Betsy Ross. She embroidered a message from General Maguffin to George Washington on it. After the Revolutionary War, Washington gave the quilt to the secret agent librarians to keep safe. Since then, every major American secret has been embroidered on it. But now the quilt is missing.

The secret agent librarians think that Steve is working for the evil Mr. E, who also wants to find the quilt. The librarians try to kidnap him, but when they tie him up and put him in their limo, he escapes through the sunroof.

Steve has to try to find the quilt before the evil Mr. E does. Mr. E wants Steve's book so that he can find the quilt first.

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity takes place in the present. The action takes place in the public library, Steve's room, his kitchen, at the docks, and on a boat.

Steve and his friend Dana figure out the secret hiding place of the Maguffin quilt. But Mr. E gets the quilt first. Then Steve has to figure out who the mysterious Mr. E really is in order to get the quilt back.

I think that this is the best book I have ever read. It was very funny, and full of adventure. I could not stop reading it.

I give it 5 stars!
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