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The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1) Paperback – January 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In 1826 London, two upper-class girls—Ada, a "perfectly ordinary 11-year-old genius" who's oblivious to social protocol and 14-year-old Mary, who is unusually perceptive and loves adventure—initially come together for joint tutoring. However, these resourceful misses soon decide to combine their remarkable talents and establish the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Mary and Ada take on a case to recover a valuable antique Turkish pendant, resulting in escapades that challenge their ingenuity and expand their abilities. The preface notes that Ada and Mary are based on the historical figures Augusta Ada Byron, commonly known as Ada Lovelace and believed to be the first computer programmer, and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who's better known as Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. Although historical license is used to connect the protagonists, historical facts, places, and famous personages from the period are woven throughout this delightfully quirky and engaging novel and detailed in the end notes. Nicola Barber's capable performance provides the girls and an intriguing supporting cast with distinctive personalities and voices. This work could be used to complement an array of lessons from period and author studies to math and logic. VERDICT This first installment in what is sure to become a popular series is highly recommended.—Rebecca James, Nashville, TN --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“This is a winner.” —School Library Journal
“Smart and witty. The detectives in training use quick thinking, book smarts, and social know-how to find a stolen gemstone. Comical narration and dialogue will charm readers thoroughly.” —Publishers Weekly
“An enjoyable plot, resourceful heroines and fun writing.” —Wall Street Journal
“Equal parts laughs and adventure, this lively mystery will keep you guessing till the end!” –Discovery Girls
“Smart and clever girls who think they know better than anyone else (and probably do) will enjoy this refreshing mystery and the start to what’s sure to be an intriguing series.” – KidsReads
“A tale of two young girls facing down wicked plots and pernicious deeds.”—The Center for Fiction
“A must-read for fans of history, mystery, and witty young women, The Case of the Missing Moonstone is a charming first installment of what is sure to be a spectacular series.” –Middle Shelf Magazine
“Promises to be a classic for young modern sleuths.”—Portland Book Review
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Top customer reviews
Stratford does an incredible job of incorporating and generating interest in science, math, language, and human interactions. Fictionalizing a friendship between Mary Shelly (Godwin), the renowned author, and Ada Byron, mathematician/scientist, as children, Stratford connects all of these things seamlessly within the cultural context of girls with little social power. These strong young girls, who still have quirks and challenges that all humans face, rely on their curiosity to find agency and follow their interests through the foundation of a detective agency.
One of the most valuable things about this book, in our experience, was the integration of vocabulary instruction-- I know, it sounds terribly boring, right? The chapter titles often contained words that would be unfamiliar to readers in the target age group, like "incendiary." My daughter's reaction, each time, was to immediately request a definition. Toward the beginning, I would provide one. Quickly, though, we realized that the characters would often not only define the word, but discuss it and then re-use it throughout. While this might sound pedantic, it was natural and fun, and my daughter came away with excitement over knowing some fun new words, that she remembers because of the way the characters explained or used them.
Important books are not always fun, and fun books are not always important. This book seems to work on both levels, and I would certainly recommend this book (and the series, if it continues in the same vein) to girls starting around age 6-7. My daughter likely could have made it through this one on her own, but I'm glad she didn't. It was a great "sharing" book!
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was the daughter of the famous feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and the political philosopher William Godwin. Mary Godwin is the author of the first science fiction novel,Frankenstein.
The two girls are thrown together when Mary comes to Lady Ada's house to be tutored alongside her. Ada it seems, knows more than the tutor is and is quickly bored, but Mary hangs on every word. They do form a bond and then they form their own detective agency.Just wanted to add that Kelly Murphy did a wonderful on the art work.
One of the things I love about this new series is that it is based on two real people from the time period (Lady Ada Byron, considered to be the first computer programmer and Mary Godwin Shelley, the world's first science fiction writer). While the two girls were in actuality 18 years apart in age, the author has tweaked history a bit to bring these too fascinating people together. The story is entertaining and informative at the same time. The author does a great job of integrating Ada's math and science work with Mary's imaginative and adventurous personality, creating a delightful new series that stands out as a fun historical mystery.
Like a young, female Sherlock Holmes, Ada Lovelace and Mary Godwin are written beautifully with the occasional illustration offering a foundation to base the imagination. I ended up sharing the real story of Ada Lovelace and think it struck something because I found analytical engine and difference engine in my google search history!
Bought for Kindle. It costs less than a cafe breakfast, might as well give it a try.
Most recent customer reviews
The book is about two best friends who team up to start a detective agency.Read more