Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Wig in the Window

My students love mysteries and I have a dearth of them in my classroom library. I usually fall back on The Westing Game and The Puzzling World of Wilson Breen. One of my goals is to read more mysteries so that I can make better recommendations. I'd heard great things about The Wig in the Window and was so excited to find a novel that is appropriate for sixth grade students and is also genuinely suspenseful.

Best friends Sophie and Grace have active imaginations and enjoy looking for mysteries and possible spies in their neighborhood. One night, they they see their creepy counselor, Dr. Agford, murdering someone. While that was a mistake, it sets off a real mystery that puts the girls in danger and tests their friendship.

The suspense is fantastic, but even better is the realistic relationship between Sophie and Grace. Author Kristen Kittscher beautifully describes the awkward shift in friendship that happens in middle school. One friend will mature faster, or they realize that proximity does not guarantee friendship. I appreciate the girls' struggles to maintain their relationship when they have fewer things in common.

If The Wig in the Window is an example of the mysteries I'll read this year, 2014 is going to be an enriching one for me and my students.

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