What It Is About: Paloma wants to spend the summer at home in Kansas with her friends. Her mother has another plan. They are going to travel to Mexico for several weeks so her mother can do some research. It is also the birthplace of Paloma's father who is now deceased. Once in Mexico, Paloma hopes that her few memories of her father will become stronger and more vivid. It is in the village they are visiting, that she meets Lizzie and Gael. They want her to help them with a mystery they are trying to solve. This village is known for a famous artist named Frida. She is now dead, but her works of art remain and are worth a lot of money. One piece is missing. A peacock ring. The twins want Paloma to help them find the ring so they can all receive the reward and thanks of the country. As they look for and investigate clues, Paloma finds out that Lizzie and Gael may have an ulterior motive.
What I Thought Of It: It has been awhile since I've read a true mystery. This plot moved along at an exciting and intriguing pace. As I read, I kept thinking how much young readers would enjoy trying to figure out where the ring was and who took it. The story focused on the culture of Mexico which was eye-opening and interesting. There were a few moments when some events were a bit unrealistic, but the audience for his book is young children and they live for "unrealistic" moments in books. It was an enjoyable read and will be "book-talked" this fall with my new group of fourth graders.
Who Should Read It: This title could be used as a class read loud and/or for individual readers. It would be fun to read to a class because of the mystery and the cliff hangers at the end of the chapters. Readers in grades three through six would be able to handle the story just fine. There are two main female characters and male characters so I think the story would appeal to both girls and boys. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars!