My kids were in a mystery book phase, and I read enough of them to feel compelled to share my opinion on some popular series.
A to Z Mysteries, Ron Roy. Not bad, though I questioned why these three 8-year-old kids were allowed to not only roam their hometown (unsupervised) at will, but also the places they traveled, like Key West and Plymouth, Mass. They were frequently left home alone or in charge of their 4-year-old siblings. They were responsible for putting tons of crooks behind bars for some pretty serious crimes, crooks who I would think in real life would “take care of” these kids when they got out of jail, if you know what I mean. As it was, their lives were actually in danger in several cases, with no one thinking twice about it.
Capitol Mysteries, by Ron Roy. I could only get through a couple of these and refuse to read any more. The young heroine is the stepdaughter of the president of the U.S. Stories not only require too much of a stretch of the imagination (Wouldn’t she have Secret Service protection? Could she and a friend really camp out on the White House lawn?) but they are also just plain stupid and silly.
Calendar Kids, by Ron Roy. Mysteries solved by first-graders related to the kids in the A to Z Mysteries. Okay, so what kind of mysteries could first-graders really solve? Really really stupid and silly ones. Another series I got through a couple of then refused to read any more.
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, by Carolyn Keene. Nancy’s eight and solves silly mysteries with her best friends. At least she and her friends have a five-block area they have to stay in when they are together, not like the kids in A to Z Mysteries.
Scooby Doo. Somewhat amusing at times but can be hard to read out loud, what with the “Rur roh” and”Rizza!!” and other Scooby speech.
Yes, I know I pretty much panned them all (I rate A to Z Mysteries as the best of the lot) but just because they’re for kids doesn’t mean they can’t be well-written.