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Summary: Fitz Morgan loves detective work and hopes that there is a mystery to solve on the cross-country train trip to Aunt Elizabeth's house in Sacramento, California. Just as Fitz is about to board the train, a dollar bill floats to the platform. Little did she know that her mystery had just begun. This is a largely fictional historical mystery with some great facts about 1906 tossed in.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 and up
Interest Level: 8 to 13
Reading Level: 5.4
Adult Reader Reaction: The mystery is made more fascinating by the snippets of history and then cutting-edge detective work that are blended into the plot. This is a quick read.
Pros: The story moves quickly, and, as every good mystery does, the "culprits" will surprise you. This is a book that everyone in the house can enjoy. The faux newspaper with "headlines" of the times is a great touch.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a pocket version of the Nancy Drew's we carried around as kids. It will get lots of readings.
Educational Themes: Although the author discourages readers from using his notes for their next history test, there are plenty of facts in the book that encourage additional reading ... including the faux newspaper at the end of the book.