The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis by Monica LaSarre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all…I love the title! Don’t you just love that name “Jasper Penzey”
I have nothing against fantasy, like Harry Potter, but I cheer anytime I read a children's book that can excite a child about "real" abilities like Thinking, (I loved that Jasper would Stop and take time to Think about the situation.) He reasoned things out. Also, I liked that he had patience with a child that was so different from himself and saw the good things about her. It took no time at all and they were fast friends. They ran around outside, not spending their whole day on the computer or TV.
Unlike the Harry Potter stories, which I also love, This book is not a story about an imaginary place with people that have magical powers. Jasper's "power" comes from his ability to thing and follow clues. Jasper is a nine year old boy with the budding talent of Sherlock Holms. He has sleuthing in his blood and determined to be the best sleuth ever. In fact, his nickname, given to him by his nanny, Renee, is “Sherlock”.
The story of Jasper starts with a mysterious woman as she bids her tiny baby goodbye. Nine years later the faint scent of jasmine and a feathery soft kiss still lingers in Jaspers mind.
Jasper’s need to follow the clues is evident from chapter one. He tallies the clues but is totally blindsided when he is told by his dad that he is moving to Greece. How did all the clues lead him on the wrong path? The worst thing ever was to move! That night he finds a small box hidden in his room. Inside the box was a letter from his mom and a mysterious amulet. These two items is all he has of his mom’s and he treasures them in secret. Once settled in his new home he contacts his best friend and has him watch his old house for the possible arrival of his mother.
It does not take long for him to make a new friend and of course, they become hip dip in a mystery that would rival any of Sherlock Holms’ escapades. With help from Cally, his new best friend, even if she is a girl, they begin a journey of discovery and danger. Together they crack the case of the missing ice cream; unravel the mystery of the men in sunglasses, smooth over a family misunderstanding…and of course save the day. I am being careful not to put in any spoilers.
I just can’t say enough good stuff about this story. This is a story that will ignite the interest of any young sleuth. It is packed with tidbits of a faraway place that mixes “learning” with the joy of reading. It is definitely a page turner and is kid tested! My nieces and nephews L-O-V-E-D it! Ms. LaSarre is a talented storyteller and I look forward to reading more of her work, and I know my nieces and nephews are going to be begging for more.
Also the cookie recipes at the end are wonderful!
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