In The Detective's Assistant, the reader is taken back in time to the Chicago of the 1850's when the river was filthy, sidewalks were boardwalks where horse and buggies were tied up, women wore long dresses and Potter Palmer ran a dry goods store. Twelve year old orphan Nell Warne is brought to the city when her parent's die, to live with her only relative, Aunt Kitty. Aunt Kitty who now calls herself Kate, reluctantly takes Nell in, though she often threatens to leave her at an orphanage when she believes she cannot care for her properly. Kate is a young woman who works as a detective with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and her character is modeled after a real detective, Kate Warne, who was the first woman hired by Pinkerton to work as a detective. She worked on many famous cases involving train robbers like Jesse James, protected President Lincoln from assassination plots when he first became President and even worked to help slaves in the underground railroad. Nell, a totally fictional character, slowly shows her aunt she can be great help in the detective work, which she far prefers over the helping out in the dull boardinghouse where the two live. The book shows us what Chicago was like in the 1800's, while these two unusual women are involved in exciting adventures, tracking down criminals, many based on true events. Grade 4-6.
When three middle school students, avid detective, Kelsey, Leo the computer whiz, and animal lover, Becca, find three kittens dumped in a trash can, the Curious Cat Spy Club is born. The Club is determined to find out who would abandon kittens in this horrible way, and why there seems to be a rash of missing animals in their town. They decide to take care of the kittens while they follow the clues their sharp eyes and different skills reveal, involving the threesome in adventures, disguises, and close escapes. In the process they become unlikely friends, learning much from each other and setting the reader up for their next adventure, as this is sure to be a fun mystery series.
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.