Thursday, April 6, 2017

Greetings from Somewhere, Book 7 - The Mystery Across the Secret Bridge

The Briar twins continue their journey around the world, and as fate would have it, they find another mystery when their parents bring them to Peru.  Author Harper Paris leads Ethan and Ella (and readers) on a journey through the salt mines of Maras, the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes, and into the mountains at Machu Picchu.  As with their previous adventures, the twins receive a cryptic e-mail from their grandfather, who provides them with clues to another mystery to solve.

The Mystery Across the Secret Bridge provides young readers with not one, but two pretty simple, but fun, mysteries to solve.  The larger mystery involves something that is connected to a snake, a bird, and another animal that required a rope for the twins' grandfather to reach.  Armed with such few hints, the twins are unsure exactly what they are searching for when they reach the Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu.  At the same time, the twins and their parents meet another family on the trip, and their young son loses his stuffed snake somewhere in the Temple.  Needless to say, it's Ethan and Ella to the rescue.

These books are certainly aimed for the early readers, what with the large font, the 100 page count, and the numerous illustrations.  And while it may only take an older reader such as myself less than half an hour to read it, that's not to say it's not a good read.  As with the prior books in the series, Paris provides readers with some knowledge about the customs and lives of the people in Peru, as well as some of the history of the country. She provides a few key words and phrases from the language, and does so in a manner that comes naturally - it flows as a part of the story, rather than beating the reader over the head with "Hey, I'm trying to teach you something here."

While not all of the books have real mysteries in them, those books in this series that do are a great way to get early readers who enjoy mysteries to start reading.  This would be what I would call a stepping stone to the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, which, let's face it, every kid at some point reads.

RATING:  7 baby alpacas out of 10 for making reading fun and providing an easy to read story that is engaging and educational at the same time!

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