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Summary: Nancy and her friends Bess and George are all part of a Thanksgiving Day pageant and dinner. It seems someone is trying to ruin the event: jars of pumpkin are destroyed; turkey stuffing is torn out of bags; and jars of green beans are ruined. The only clue is some feathers at each crime scene. The next morning, Nancy finds some wild turkeys running around the neighborhood. Their feathers look similar. She follows them to their nesting area and finds that the wild turkey’s land is being bulldozed for a new housing development. Nancy and her friends decide to convince the county to open up a different area for the wild turkeys to be moved to so they can still live in the area but not bother the humans. In the end all are happy and they still have the pageant they have worked so hard on. This is take-off on the Nancy Drew mystery series.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, transitional reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 12
Reading Level: 4.2
Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter wanted to read a mystery, so we picked this one. She loved that the girls worked as a team to solve the mystery. She liked that it was the animals doing all the harm and that in the end the girls helped the animals.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is an enjoyable, simple mystery. It was fun to read it with my daughter and solve it together. I was surprised that even though she figured out it was a bird she liked the story so much she kept reading.
Pros: This is an easy-to-read mystery that will engage young listeners and reluctant or remedial readers.
Cons: The explanation of how the girls were going to help the wild turkeys was not very clear.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow or buy. I would buy this book or any in this series for a child who was interested in mysteries but not sure what series to start with. This is an excellent series to start any child on.
Educational Themes: The story offers an example of teamwork and perseverance. Unlike original Nancy Drew mysteries, this book pulled in topical issues (wildlife habitat). This is an additional theme you can build on.