All Charlie Tickler wants is for his parents to listen.
Charlie's parents have left him (again). This time they are off to South Africa to help giant golden moles. And Charlie? He's been dumped with his TV-obsessed grandparents. Lonely and curious, Charlie heads into the village of Castle-on-the-Hudson, where a frightened old woman gives him a desperate message-in sign language. When she suddenly disappears, Charlie is determined to find answers.
All Francine (aka Frog) Castle wants is to be the world's greatest detective.
Frog, who is Deaf, would rather be solving crimes than working at the Flying Hands Caf¿. When Charlie Tickler walks into the caf¿ looking for help, Frog jumps at the chance to tackle a real-life case.
Together, Charlie and Frog set out to decipher a series of clues and uncover the truth behind the missing woman's mysterious message. Charlie needs to learn American Sign Language (fast) to keep up with quick-witted Frog. And Frog needs to gather her detective know-how (now) to break the case before it's too late.
Discover the surprising ways people listen in debut author Karen Kane's page-turning mystery filled with humor, intrigue, and heartwarming friendships.
Edgar Award Finalist for Best Middle Grade Mystery
Ten-year-old Charlie is used to being abandoned by his parents, who spend more time on trips saving animals than with Charlie. This time Charlie is being left with his equally neglectful grandparents, who prefer watching TV to grandparenting, in Castle-on-Hudson, a quirky town in New York. But next could be boarding school, so Charlie begins a campaign to persuade his grandparents to let him stay for good. At the town library, Charlie meets Aggie, an elderly Deaf woman who is being pursued by two mysterious men. Aggie attempts to convey an important message to Charlie in sign language before she escapes her pursuers; concerned, Charlie sets out on a mission to find her. On his quest, he meets Frog, a Deaf girl whose family owns the Castle School for the Deaf. Exuberant, fearless Frog, who wants to be a detective, is a worthy foil for cautious Charlie as they begin following clues to uncover the mystery of Aggie and the book she had been searching for. Kane's debut, a light and engaging mystery, takes on added depth through its focus on the Deaf community. Charlie longs for kinship with others; intriguingly, it's through learning sign language that he finds friendship and connection. Ages 8 12.