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Author: D.C. Stewart

Illustrator: Paul S. Tritton

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Publisher: Baker Trittin Press,

Material: paperback

Summary: School is out for the summer and the Parker children, Brad and Charlie, 11-year-old twins, and Zoey, their precocious 8-year-old sister are spending two weeks on their grandparent’s ranch in Oklahoma. Rustlers have been stealing cattle and Brad and Charlie decide to find and expose them. Zoey uses her special powers to help keep her brothers safe, but the situation appears to be hopeless. How can the Parker kids get the goods on the outlaws? and more importantly how can they avoid being hurt or killed? This mystery for tweens will introduce kids to life on a cattle ranch.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 9 to 12

Reading Level: 4.3

Age of Child: Read by student at Denbigh High School (Newport News, VA) as part of our Use Your ABCs program. Also read by Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Denbigh student: I picked this book because it looked interesting. I liked that it showed what happens when people don't believe what others say and think they are lying. The story has the message that you can't let people bring you down because they don't believe in what you say. The book is very realistic.
BTSYA: This book had lots of pros as well as cons. For some pros, I thought it was interesting and I was curious to see what Brad and Charlie would discover next, and what kind of trouble they would get into. I also liked seeing how the twins’ psychic sister, Zoey, would predict the future (or something of that sort) next. However, I didn’t like how few suspects there were and how blatant it was who did it. There were about two suspects, and you really found out who stole the cattle about three-quarters through the book. Then the rest of the book was about how to tell their grandparents who did it so that they would believe Brad and Charlie. Despite the cons, I think I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries. It was a fun read and it kept me guessing until the end.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an exciting and enjoyable book. Teen readers will be quickly engaged in the story and easily identify with the characters. The author has crafted a believable story, developed recognizable characters, and provided enough twists and turns of the plot to keep the reader happily glued to every page.

Pros: This is a good mystery for pre-teens and teens alike.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. It is an excellent teen adventure story and will engage and entertain the reader immediately. The book is an excellent selection for the Beach Bag, Christmas Stocking, or Birthday Gift.


Educational Themes: The primary purpose of this book is to entertain and engage a preteen audience. Along the way, kids will learn about life on a cattle farm, and pick up some new vocabulary, too.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.3. The publisher donated two copies of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: fiction - mystery, adventure, family, grandparents, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2008

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