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A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Library Binding – November 4, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
Book 1 of 26 in the A to Z Mysteries Series

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Library Binding, November 4, 1997
$58.24 $0.78

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A is for author....  Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. To Dink's amazement, Wallace says he'll come! But when the big day arrives, Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink suspects foul play. It's up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find the famous writer--before it's too late!  

About the Author

RON ROY has been writing books for children since 1974. He is the author of dozens of books, including the popular A to Z Mysteries®, Calendar Mysteries, and Capital Mysteries. When not working on a new book, Ron likes to teach tricks to his dog Pal, play poker with friends, travel, and read thrilling mystery books.
 
STEPHEN GILPIN is the award-winning illustrator of dozens of children’s books, including the popular and very funny Pirate Mom. He brings his fresh, kid-friendly style to all the covers of the A to Z Mysteries® series. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM) (Book 1)
  • Library Binding: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (November 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679981683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679981688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm ecstatic with my recent discovery of Ron Roy's A-to-Z-Mysteries. In the first installment, the Absent Author, we meet the young team of accidental sleuths: the well read and thoughtful Dink (that's Donald David Duncan when his mother means business); neighbor Ruth Rose (who dresses in pink, utilizes keen powers of observation, and initiates the climactic discovery); and best friend Josh (whose appetite, comic relief, and quick thinking rounds out the team). Confronted with the disappearance of their favorite author (Wallis Wallace), the trio assembles clues, follows leads, and eventually unravels the mystery. Early readers will appreciate the young detectives' savvy in piecing together the seemingly complex puzzle. Parents and teachers will notice the author's skillful portrayal of young people's mature interaction with both their peers and a broad spectrum of adult characters. Author Roy lays a clear trail of clues, steadily reinforces key discoveries, and cleanly closes the circle in less than 90 pages (including a fair smattering of helpful black and white drawings). Fortunately, he also sprinkles humor throughout the dialogue that pleases both young and old readers. Parents frustrated by the counter-culture mentality that promotes Rugrats and South Park will appreciate that Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose respect adults (yet know when to question authority), speak clearly, read and think, care about others, and work together to achieve their goals -- it's refreshing for young readers to be exposed to inquisitive, well mannered role models. Try the Absent Author and, while you're at it, pick up the sequel, the Bald Bandit. My son is already clamoring for the Canary Caper, and I doubt we'll be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to get a beginner's chapter book for my almost 6-year-old daughter. I thought about Junie B. Jones or the Magic Tree House series, but I was turned off by Junie's poor grammar (or at least the author's attempt to make her sound like a "real" 6-year-old), and by the Magic Tree House's female character being "dreamy" while her brother was "logical". This book managed to avoid those caveats, while still being an entertaining read for my daughter. I wasn't sure at first if she could follow a chapter book on her own, with illustrations only appearing every 3 pages or so, so I read her the first two chapters last night. This morning, the first thing she reached for was that book. Instead of getting up and watching Saturday morning cartoons, she sat in bed, ate a banana, and finished her new book. I couldn't ask for anything better.
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By A Customer on March 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
This mystery book is about 3 children, Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose, who follow clues to track down a missing famous author. I read this book to my 2 daughters ages 8 and 5. They both loved it. My 5 year old normally has a hard time paying attention to chapter books but SHE was the one begging for "just one more chapter" each night when it was time to put the book down. This morning she asked me if we could start the "B" book tonight!!! My 8 year old packed the book to take with her to school to read herself during DEAR today! I would say it's a hit all around!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read a few of Ron Roy's mysteries, ("The Falcon's Feathers", "The Canary Caper"), and was so impressed that I grabbed this first one to see how it all starts and to see if more in the series are as good as that sample. Happy to report that this volume was just as entertaining. It is lighter than the later books on character description, but stronger on the mystery/detection angle.

Roy has three sets of mysteries. The "A to Z" mysteries, (26 volumes for the 26 letters and then three bonus volumes), are for older chapter book readers. The "Calendar" mysteries, (surprise - 12 volumes), are for younger readers and, in a clever twist, feature the younger siblings of the protagonists from the "A to Z" set. The third series features mysteries that take place at various national landmarks in Washington, D.C.

The "A to Z" books showcase an appealing set of characters, fair mystery plots, a bit of action and decent secondary characters. They are like junior versions of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. They have younger heroes, they are shorter, there are fewer twists and turns, there's a bit less danger, and the mysteries are a bit tamer. But that said, they have the same corresponding strengths. The three heroes, (Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose), play equal roles, with no apparent bias between boys and girls. You never know who will solve the case. There is the same kidding friendship among them. Adults are generally dependable, (when they aren't the villain in disguise). There is a good balance between clue hunting, figuring things out, and being chased and trapped. The mysteries are conventional, but I mean that in a good way - clues are fair, red herrings are fair, and the resolutions are logical.
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A Kid's Review on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books in the series. I think this is the best book. I liked this book because I like mysteries. I like the whole series but this one was the best so far.

If you like mysteries you should read the series.

Michael grade 4
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