I picked this one up because of all the buzz it has been getting on blogs as well as the fact that our library system has picked it as part of our library's Mock Newbery. I generally don’t read as many books for the Elementary grade set so I wasn’t sure how I would like it. Turns out I really liked it, couldn’t put it down.
I won't go into the plot too much since everyone has been buzzing about this, but it is a story set in late 70s NYC about 12 year old Miranda, her friends, mysterious notes, and the $20,000 Pyramid.
Besides that, though, the writing is fantastic. Miranda has a strong voice, a compelling, funny, and totally believable voice - despite the fact that we’re dealing with some out-there occurrences. Like notes that show up in strange places…like other things I won’t mention in case you haven’t read the book. This is very much a mystery and the mystery is central to the story, but there are a lot of other things going on too. An important focus of the book deals with friendship and how it changes. The author does manage to tie this back into the mystery, which was pretty incredible and made for much holding-of-breath. All the characters were so full of life. Miranda’s mom, Richard, Jimmy, Annemarie, and others. I enjoyed hearing about their lives so much. It was a quirky story. Funny, but also heartfelt.
I must admit though, that I left the book on a down note. I forgive it because it rang so true, but Dang! Talk about injecting some realism into a story.... It is excellently written, has a complicated plot, but still manages to be very accessible.