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Firebug Hardcover – March 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590781708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590781708
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,377,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-When her Uncle Jake asks her to fill in for a week as a housekeeper on the ranch he converted from her grandparents' homestead in Sedona, AZ, Haley hesitantly agrees. She arrives to find one of the cabins on fire, and it soon looks like arson. All of the guests are suspects. Ostensibly, Aquanetta Real and her son, Zach, are staying there so she can perform in a folk concert, but then Haley learns that the woman's deceased husband was Jake's childhood friend. Bill and Martha Craig were friends of Haley's grandparents and frequent visitors who tried to buy the ranch before the area became prosperous. Their 20-year-old granddaughter, Vivica Dove, spouts New Age lingo about vortexes and crystals. The plot, which includes Jake's financial troubles, an old miner's map, spooked horses, a computer virus, and threatening postcards, overshadows character development. Children familiar with the area might find the setting interesting; others will prefer the more fully rounded characters of Wendelin Van Draanen's "Sammy Keyes" mysteries (Knopf) and Betsy Byars's "Herculeah Jones" series (Viking).--Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Cleaning cabins and washing dishes at her uncle Jake's new Arizona bed-and-breakfast ranch is not what 12-year-old Haley had in mind for summer vacation. On the night of her arrival at the ranch, Haley witnesses one of the cabins going up in flames. Uncle Jake attributes the fire to bad luck, but Haley suspects foul play, and her suspicions prove correct when more mysterious fires break out. Haley soon finds herself tracking down an arsonist, methodically sorting through clues and eliminating suspects with the assistance of another young sleuth whom she befriends. The finally discovered culprit is a surprise. There's enough intrigue and suspense here to keep readers engaged and guessing until the end, and Haley is a plucky, doggedly determined sleuth who will appeal to young mystery fans. Ed Sullivan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Once upon a time I was a teacher with assignments ranging from first grade to college level. Those were fun jobs but also lots of work. When I started writing stories for children I discovered a new profession and a new passion. As a bonus, I now have a good excuse not to be a total grown-up. Over the years I've been fortunate to publish nine books and about two hundred stories and articles in children's magazines such as Highlights for Children and Highlights High Five.

My picture books include Maya Moon (a Mexican folktale), Joe Cinders (a Cinder-fella tale), and Gullywasher Gulch (a tall tale). As an Arizona native, I love using the west as a background in my stories. Finding Zola is a mystery set in southern Arizona near Tucson. A second mystery, Firebug, is set among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. My anthology, Windows of Gold, offers a variety of short stories: adventure, mystery, animals, fantasy, and folktales. Most of these stories were originally published in Highlights for Children. I've also dug into my own family history for story material. My latest project, A Promise Made, is a young adult novel inspired by a long, lost great auntie with a mysterious past. It's set in the mining town of Silver Plume, Colorado in 1884.

Although I now write full time, I still enjoy coming to schools and talking to kids about books and writing.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
FIREBUG is a great mystery story for readers 8-12. It's fast-paced with lots of action in each chapter and plenty of suspects to choose from. When 12 year-old Haley arrives to help out at her uncle's guest ranch in Sedona, Arizona she decides to find out who set one of the new cabins on fire. She learns that her uncle has been getting threats in the mail. Does someone want to ruin his business? Or are they after the tresaure that is rumored to be buried on the old ranch? Is her new friend Zach part of the solution or part of the problem? This book is a real page-turner and will keep readers engaged until the final page.
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