Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11
Who stole the hamster from Room 11? A once-happy class is set on edge in this humorous, highly relatable mystery perfect for middle-grade readers. The day the hamster disappears from Smashie McPerter’s class begins like any other. Well, except for the fact that the teacher is out sick and Smashie’s class is stuck with Mr. Carper, the worst substitute in the world. And except for the mysterious business with the glue. And except for the fact that Smashie is wrestling with a terrible problem, which only partly stems from her extreme aversion to hamster feet. As the peaceable and productive days of Room 11 turn into paranoia-fueled chaos, as natural suspects produce natural alibis and motives remain unmotivated, Smashie and her best friend, Dontel, are forced to the limits of their parlor-room detecting to set things right.
Third-grader Smashie McPerter faces the wrath of her classmates when Patches, their beloved class hamster, goes missing, in this lively, funny mystery. Mr. Carper, the students' ridiculous substitute teacher, who has a hilarious penchant for nicknames (Athletic-Looking Boy, Girl with the Socks, etc.), loathes thinking, and cares only about his aspiring modeling career. When Smashie eccentric, spontaneous, and the only student who doesn't like Patches is blamed for the hamster's disappearance, she knows she must solve the mystery, aided by Dontel, her best friend. Griffin (The Whole Stupid Way We Are) uses humor to tackle issues most children grapple with at some point, and Hindley's (How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth) loose b&w sketches play up the madcap energy at Rebecca Lee Crumpler Elementary School. Smashie's earnestness is sometimes absurd ("We have to question me closely"), but her positive energy and determination are impressive. Readers will be learning and laughing heartily as Smashie dons her "Investigator Suit" and uses "thinking power" to try to prove herself. Ages 7 10.