The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

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Title: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Premise:

This is the life story of a man named Claus (later known as Santa Claus).  It starts with his baby years, when he was abandoned near the forest and a kind-hearted nymph named Necile adopted him as her own.  Claus grew up in an enchanted forest, but when he reached adulthood, he took his place in the world of man.  From his home in the Laughing Valley, Claus spreads happiness to the children of the world by making and delivering toys.  This story talks about his life’s work and how a few common Christmas traditions came to be.

My thoughts:

My son and I just finished reading this for school.  The first time I read it was several years ago and I was quite taken with it back then.  Though the language is quaint and a little old-fashioned, by son thoroughly enjoyed the book and couldn’t wait until we could read the next chapter.

Baum’s story about Santa Claus is more than just a jolly old elf who likes to eat cookies.  His is an active and philanthropic man who makes it his life’s work to bring joy to others.  I like how Santa serves as a middleman between the world of mortals and immortals in this story, drawing the immortals into helping humanity.  I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this book again in a few years so I can read it with my younger girls.  I know they will love the story and I think this is a great family read-aloud!

I recommend The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus to young readers, families and anyone else who wants to learn more about Santa’s history (at least according to Baum).

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

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Title: The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Notable: Newbery Honor Book, 1979

Premise:

Gilly Hopkins is in foster care and about to enter a new home.  She wants nothing more than for her mother to swoop in and reclaim her, but alas, it’s not to be.  Gilly’s new home is with a large, motherly woman named Trotter and her foster son, William Ernest.  Gilly’s prejudices come to the forefront when she realizes that she’ll be expected to interact closely with African Americans, and when she passes judgment on Trotter and W. E.  Eventually though, Gilly realizes that sometimes our dreams aren’t what they’re cracked up to be, and making the best of our current situation can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

My thoughts:

This is a really intense book!  Don’t expect to sit down and just float through it like you’re riding on a big, fluffy cloud.  Paterson doesn’t take shortcuts with her characters and she’s definitely not afraid of giving them flaws.  The main character, Gilly, is one of the most judgmental kids you’ll ever meet in a story, but it’s hard not to root for her.  She’s so miserably unhappy, that Gilly spews her vitriol on everyone around her, picking out traits in others to belittle and make fun of.

She doesn’t like Trotter because she’s overweight; she doesn’t like W. E. because she thinks he’s stupid; she doesn’t like her neighbor or new teacher because they’re black.  In all of these relationships, we see Gilly gradually progress into a new understanding about who they are.  She comes to value each of them and realizes that love and acceptance are possible with people who are different, and not part of your nuclear family.  She never thought she’d come to love these people, but they found a way to infiltrate her heart.  There is no easy fairy-tale ending to the story, but readers are left with the message that we should make the best of our situation in life and look for joy and contentment in what we have today.

As a parent, I have to warn you about the offensive bits in this story.  I wouldn’t want my younger child picking it up and thinking that it’s okay to copy Gilly’s language.  She uses totally inappropriate phrases to talk about Trotter, W. E., Mr. Randolph and Ms. Harris.  In one part the n-word is very clearly implied.  By the end of the book, Gilly’s language has become much tamer, but a child has to be old enough to realize that Gilly’s language is not something to emulate.

I recommend The Great Gilly Hopkins to those who enjoy coming of age novels which tug at your heart strings and are kind of edgy.

Possible Objections:

  • Offensive language (degrading those who are obese, African American, have special needs, etc.)
  • Mild epithets (d-word & hell)

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

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Title: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Premise:

What will happen when the Christmas pageant is infiltrated by the Herdmans, the town’s most unruly and notorious kids?  Hilarity and the most unique retelling of the Nativity story you’ve ever witnessed!  Their unique take on the story ends up producing the best Christmas pageant the town has ever seen.

My thoughts:

My son and I just finished reading this book together for school and it was an absolute hoot!  We laughed so much at all of the Herdmans’ antics–Imogene as a hoop earring-wearing, cigar-smoking Mary, and Gladys as an Angel of the Lord who yells at the shepherds and stomps on their feet.  Though these kids may be lacking in the finer points of politeness, they latch right onto the Christmas story and internalize its true meaning.

If you’re really particular about not letting your kids read books with children who misbehave, this may not be the book for you.  The Herdmans smoke cigars, hit people, burn down a shed, steal and generally act “naughty.”  Their behavior isn’t glorified, though, so I’m not afraid of my kids following their example.

Throughout the book there’s a smattering of drawings which help bring extra life and humor to the story.  The picture of Imogene smoking in the ladies room while she’s dressed up as Mary is just priceless.

I recommend The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to children and families to enjoy together during Christmas.  It’s our family’s favorite Christmas read aloud!

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

More Perfect than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan

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Title: More Perfect than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan

Notable: Book #4 in the Sarah, Plain and Tall series

Premise:

Cassie Witting is now the family member whose responsibility it is to write in the journal.  Cassie enjoys observing others and writing make-believe stories about them.  When Cassie finds out that Sarah is going to have a baby, she thinks the baby will come between herself and her mama.  She hopes that if she makes up her own story about the baby, perhaps nothing will change and that Sarah will still love her best.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book as a continuation of the previous three in the series.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t my favorite in the series.  I think it was because there was so very little that actually happened in the plot line.  It’s basically about Sarah getting pregnant, the difficulties she has as an older pregnant woman, and Cassie’s resentment about the new baby.  It’s a nicely done story, and I can see it being a good read for a child who isn’t thrilled with the idea of a new baby being added to their family.

Probably the most satisfying part of the story for me, was in seeing Grandfather’s role in the family expand.  In the last book he had just been fully admitted as a member of the Witting family, but in this book he has really found his position in the family.  He’s a confidant and mentor to the children, a helper to the adults, and a patriarch to the whole Witting family.

I recommend More Perfect than the Moon to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, or as a touching family read aloud.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL SERIES POSTS:

The Littles Go to School by John Peterson

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Title: The Littles Go to School by John Peterson

Premise:

Lucy Little is worried about going to school for the first time.  Her family reassures her that she will enjoy it, but she’s still scared.  When Tom and Lucy find themselves accidentally transported to school in the gerbils’ cage, Lucy gets a chance to explore the school and find out how fun it really can be.

My thoughts:

My son and I just finished this chapter book for school.  I think we may have made it through all the Littles books we own!  For some reason this wasn’t my favorite Littles book.  I think it may be because the action and adventure was very tame, apart from their being transported to the school by mistake.

My son enjoyed it and got a kick out of the silly things Tom and Lucy did while exploring the school, so I suppose it’s a bit more appealing to kids.  It may have also sounded similar to our homeschooling experiences.  Just like us, Tom and Lucy do the majority of their school work at home through mostly child-led activities.  They go to the “big school” for one week per year to meet with their classmates and teacher, Ms. Beta Gogg.

I recommend The Littles Go to School to those who are already fans of the Littles.

Rating: 3 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Caleb’s Story by Patricia MacLachlan

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Title: Caleb’s Story by Patricia MacLachlan

Notable: Book #3 in the Sarah, Plain and Tall series

Premise:

Anna has now left home to finish school and work in town.  It is Caleb’s turn to write in the family journal and the new topic is the appearance of a mysterious stranger named John.  When the family finds out who he really is, it causes some major consternation and Jacob must learn to forgive if their family is to survive.

My thoughts:

The third book in the series is right in line with the previous two in terms of style and subject matter.  In this volume we get to see Cassie (the youngest daughter) as a young girl and Caleb has taken on a much more mature role in the family.  I loved the part that he had to play in teaching John a new skill.  Seriously, if I tell you want it is, I’ll spoil the book for you.

The same overarching theme of family is explored in this book, with the emphasis being on forgiveness and fresh starts.  I still don’t know how MacLachlan does it, but she packs very moving stories into small packages.  Bravo!

I recommend Caleb’s Story to young people who enjoy stories about early American settlers.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL SERIES POSTS:

 

The Littles and the Perfect Christmas by Joel Peterson

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Title: The Littles and the Perfect Christmas by Joel Peterson

Premise:

It’s Christmas at the Biggs’ house, but things aren’t so merry when Mr. Bigg loses his job!  Despite the depressing situation, Mr. Bigg works on a homemade gift for his son, which ends up being the answer to his employment problem.  The Littles are instrumental in helping to make sure the gift is perfect for when Mr. Winters, the toy company owner, comes to take a look at it.

My thoughts:

My son and I read this book together for school.  We didn’t like it as much as the other Littles books we’ve read.  It was probably because there was very little action in this story.  Mr. Bigg loses his job, the Littles fix a mistake on the toy Mr. Bigg made, and Mr. Winters comes for a visit.  The pace of the story is a bit slow, especially when reading it with a young-ish boy who wants a bit of excitement.

The story is cute and I like the angle they took with Mr. Winters, but I feel like the book would have been better if it were a little shorter.  It would be a fun story to read aloud to your kids during Christmas.

I recommend The Littles and the Perfect Christmas to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, or as a cute family read-aloud.

Rating: 3 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Littles Take a Trip by John Peterson

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Title: The Littles Take a Trip by John Peterson

Premise:

The Little family decides that it is time to make a trip to meet up with some other tiny families.  They believe that their children are a little too socially isolated, and they hope that this will help them make some friends.  Cousin Dinky scopes out the route, but when their ride (Hildy, the cat) gets injured and is taken home by Henry Bigg, the Littles find themselves stranded in the woods.  Will they make it to the tiny family gathering?

My thoughts:

My son and I just finished reading this as our homeschooling chapter book.  This book is much like all the other Littles books, so if you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy it.  I’ll confess that it wasn’t my favorite book in the series.  The story and dialogue were just average, with nothing that really stood out as remarkable.  My son really enjoyed it, though!

I think that a child would get a bit more enjoyment out of the book than an adult would.  They can daydream about what it would be like to ride around on a cat in the middle of a giant woods, and later to ride a tame skunk!  In case you’re worried about the Littles getting stuck in the big, dark woods–don’t fear!  It turns out there are actually tiny people living in the woods whom the Littles never even knew about.  Phew!  You can stop sweating now.

I recommend The Littles Take a Trip to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, or as a fun family read-aloud

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds

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Title: The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds

Premise:

A blind colt is born to a mare who is part of a herd of Mustangs in the American West.  Whitey, a young boy, and his uncle Torwal own a nearby ranch, and watch over the animals within their domain.  Uncle Torwal is in favor of shooting the colt, but Whitey pleads for his life.  He would love to own a horse like that someday.  Against all odds, the little colt survives the winter but gets lost and separated from his band.  He finds his way to the ranch’s other horses, and Whitey finally gets his chance to prove that his faith in the blind colt’s abilities has not been misplaced.

My thoughts:

I’ve had this book since I was a kid and I remember being enamored of it back then.  Though I never had a horse, I dreamt of getting one and even wrote a story in first grade about a horse that was mine (in reality it belonged to my cousins).  So yeah, horses have always fascinated me.  Interestingly, this book is based on a true story!

It’s a bit short for a chapter book, so a child could read it in a day or two.  There really isn’t much to the story.  A blind colt is born and survives in the American West with his mother and the rest of the Mustangs.  However, one day he slips down a ravine and can’t get back to the other horses.  In his wanderings, he finds his way to the ranch’s work horses and sticks with them until he is discovered by Whitey, the boy who kept him from being shot in the first place.  Whitey then gentles the colt and Uncle Torwal says he can keep him.  That’s it!

The writing itself is quality and I think that’s what makes the story enjoyable.  There is a lot of description about the wilderness and the discoveries that the colt makes while he tries to get by in the big, mysterious world.  He faces some perils along the way, such as a rattlesnake, mudhole, blizzard, etc., but with his heightened senses of hearing and smell, and the help of his mother, this tough little guy makes it through.

I recommend The Blind Colt to kids who are just beginning to read chapter books or as a cute family read-aloud.  It would particularly appeal to horse lovers!

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

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Title: The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Notable: Newbery Honor book, 1961

Premise:

Chester cricket is accidentally transported from his rural Connecticut home to the Times Square subway station in New York City.  A friendly cat and mouse help Chester fit into this new and foreign environment, and a boy named Mario Bellini adopts Chester as his new pet.  Chester is instrumental in saving the Bellini’s struggling newspaper stand.

My thoughts:

This book was completely new to me and I’m happy to report that it was an enjoyable read.  The story is very basic, but the animal characters are charming and really the focus of the story.

My two favorite characters are Chester cricket (of course) and Sai Fong, the Chinese gentleman.  Chester is so good-natured and you can’t help but feel sorry for him.  This poor little country cricket finds himself dumped in the big, loud, dirty city without a soul to help him.  Thank goodness Tucker mouse and Harry cat step in!  It’s fun to imagine the scenes when Chester is giving his concerts in the subway and all of the people are standing there rapt.  The child in me wants to go find a cricket now just to listen to their song.  (Incidentally, we had a cricket infestation in our house several years ago, and I can assure you that it’s not too fun hunting loud crickets in the middle of the night when all you want is to get some sleep.)

When we are first introduced to Sai Fong, the man who owns a Chinese laundry and trinket shop, I was afraid that it was going to be another stereotypical portrayal of a Chinese person, hinting at our American superiority.  Thankfully that was not the case.  Sai Fong is a lovable character who is ecstatic about Mario’s lucky pet cricket.  He helps Mario get a cage for his cricket (really a beautiful pagoda), has them over for dinner, and supplies Mario with mulberry leaves to feed Chester.  Although his character doesn’t step outside the bounds of the typical Chinese character, he is presented with a loving eye.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  Though it has not become one of my favorites, I still think it’s a great chapter book for kids.  The story would need a bit more than pure fluff to put it on my list of cherished books.

I recommend The Cricket in Times Square to elementary-age kids or as a cute family read-aloud.

Possible Objections:

  • Chinese man’s language is garbled and spelled phonetically (if you’re particularly sensitive, you might find this offensive)

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Miss Bianca in the Orient by Margery Sharp

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Title: Miss Bianca in the Orient by Margery Sharp

Premise:

When the Ambassador from the Orient visits, Miss Bianca learns of an unfortunate page boy who is condemned to death for sneezing in the Ranee’s sherbet.  Miss Bianca and Bernard travel to “the Orient” to try and save the poor boy.  But will their plan succeed when nobody seems to know anything about him or his whereabouts?

My thoughts:

I just finished this book tonight and I came away disappointed.  I remember reading it when I was younger, but I must not have been quite as critical back then.  There were some things that I picked up on this time through which really put a bad taste in my mouth.

Let’s start with the good, though.  I love Miss Bianca and Bernard.  They have such lovely personalities and work very well as a team.  Bernard’s devotion to Miss Bianca is so, so sweet.  The premise of the story is also promising.  Our intrepid duo travels to “the Orient” to rescue an unfortunate page boy who has been sentenced to death.  The characters we meet in the palace court are interesting and fairly well developed.  While the plot is very simple, it’s quite adequate for an elementary chapter book.  And the illustrations by Erik Blegvad are very nicely done.

On to the bad.  Throughout the book, the language referring to “the Orient” is exceptionally outdated and imprecise.  Where exactly is “the Orient”?  Why can’t we name a specific country with a specific language?  What exactly is “Oriental writing”?  What does it mean to be “Orientally thoughtless”?  It doesn’t take a genius to pick up on the idea that the writer views “the Orient” as a generic group of people living in the East whose way of life is inferior to that of the West.  Based on the details contained in the book, I believe the author had India in mind as the setting, but it’s never actually stated.  Are we trying to make our children stupid by teaching them that the entirety of the East is one homogeneous and backward group of people?

Quite frankly, I won’t be keeping this book around the house because I would be mortified to have my children read the book and start talking about “the Orient” or “Oriental writing”.  I would rather they learn about specific countries, languages, and people groups.

I don’t recommend Miss Bianca in the Orient to children because of what I perceive as subtle prejudice.  However, if you’re an adult fan of Miss Bianca and Bernard, you might want to read this book to round out your knowledge of all of their adventures.


Possible Objections:

  • Prejudice against “Orientals”

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah & James Howe

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Title: Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah & James Howe

Premise:

The Munroe family finds an adorable baby bunny at the movie theater.  Harold, the family dog, and Chester, the cat, aren’t particularly concerned about the newest member of the family until funny things start happening to the food at night.  Could the cute and seemingly innocent bunny be the culprit?  Chester is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but how far will he go in his quest for the truth?

My thoughts:

I read Bunnicula as a child, but had never gone back to it since that time.  I forgot what a little gem of a book this is!

The book is written from the perspective of the dog, which makes for some very funny reading.  Things are explained from a dog’s point of view, and with a dog’s understanding and priorities.  Seeing things from his perspective gives the story a unique twist and makes it really fun to read.

Even though the book is quite short, there is a lot of humor and personality packed into the pages.  Chester is a thoroughly neurotic cat and he goes a bit bonkers in his quest to find out what Bunnicula gets up to at night.  Harold is a happy-go-lucky dog who is willing to give their new bunny a chance, but he’s also forced to rein in Chester just a tad bit.  The Munroe family seems to be good-naturedly dimwitted, and eventually the situation is resolved in such a way that they are none the wiser about the eating habits of their little bunny.

I think that the characters of Chester and Harold really make this book.  It’s almost like they’re the cat-dog version of the famous Laurel and Hardy comedy duo.  Chester is serious and uptight, whereas Harold is the bumbling, kindly oaf.  They play off of each other sooo well!  The scene where they are both trying to sit in the same chair is hilarious!

I recommend Bunnicula to children who are beginning to read chapter books, up through preteens.  It also makes a fun, quick family read-aloud.  This would be a great book to read around Halloween, too!

A favorite quote:

“Chester turned to me and said under his breath, ‘That lettuce looks repulsive, but if there’s any milk left, I get it.’  I certainly wasn’t going to argue with him.  I’m a water man myself.”  (p. 10)

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Littles and the Trash Tinies by John Peterson

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Title: The Littles and the Trash Tinies by John Peterson

Premise:

Uncle Nick is injured by the cat and is convinced that he’s dying.  The rest of the Littles decide that a visit from his dear friends from Trash City would be just the thing to get him out of his funk.  Mr. Little, Tom, Lucy and Mus Mus (the mouse) embark on a dangerous journey to bring Nick’s friends back for a Christmas visit.

My thoughts:

As far as Littles books go, this one isn’t my favorite, but my son and I enjoyed reading it, nonetheless.  The plot is extremely simple–Nick’s family goes to collect his friends from Trash City for a visit over the holidays.  The adventure comes in during their dangerous and complicated journey.

It’s fun imagining what life is like for the tiny people in Trash City.  They are ingenious at using the things discarded by the rest of society to create a functioning and comfortable town.  I like how the author went into such detail about the different components of Trash City and how everything worked.

I recommend The Littles and the Trash Tinies to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, and to families who want a fun and easy read-aloud.

 

Possible Objections:

  • At the end of the story, the cat at the dump is thwarted by having its tail impaled with a dart.  You may not appreciate your child getting an idea like that in their head.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Littles Go Exploring by John Peterson

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Title: The Little Go Exploring by John Peterson

Premise:

When Tom and Lucy find Grandpa’s secret room, they finally have a clue about why he disappeared two years ago.  The Littles decide to go on a voyage to see, once and for all, what happened to him.  What will happen when they enter the Dark Woods?

My thoughts:

I’ve loved the Littles books ever since I was a kid, and this is one that I read back in those bygone days. Really, the plot is so very simple that I can’t go into it too much without giving away the entirety of the book.  Suffice it to say that it’s wholesome and charming, with some fun adventure thrown in.  If you read a Littles book be prepared for: a simple plot and story made up into short chapters for young readers.  It’s also accentuated with charming drawings, which add just as much to the story as the text does.

After I finished reading this, my son asked if we could read it together.  We just finished our last chapter book and I guess he wanted to see what this one is all about.  I’m so glad that I get to share the Littles books with him.

I recommend The Littles Go Exploring to kids who are just starting to read chapter books.  It would also be a really good family read-aloud.

 

 

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Books We Own: The Boxcar Children Series

Since we are such awful bibliophiles, I’m finding it necessary to start a list of the books we own.  Right now my kids are really enjoying books from The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner and they want me to expand our collection.  First I need to take stock of what we already own, hence the following list.  So…while this list is meant to help us keep track of our own book collection, it could be helpful to you in expanding yours also.

♥ = we own the book

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Mystery Series:

  1. The Boxcar Children
  2. Surprise Island
  3. The Yellow House Mystery
  4. Mystery Ranch
  5. Mike’s Mystery
  6. Blue Bay Mystery
  7. The Woodshed Mystery
  8. The Lighthouse Mystery
  9. Mountain Top Mystery
  10. Schoolhouse Mystery
  11. Caboose Mystery
  12. Houseboat Mystery
  13. Snowbound Mystery
  14. Tree House Mystery
  15. Bicycle Mystery
  16. Mystery in the Sand
  17. Mystery Behind the Wall
  18. Bus Station Mystery
  19. Benny Uncovers a Mystery
  20. The Haunted Cabin Mystery
  21. The Deserted Library Mystery
  22. The Animal Shelter Mystery
  23. The Old Motel Mystery
  24. The Mystery of the Hidden Painting
  25. The Amusement Park Mystery
  26. The Mystery of the Mixed-up Zoo
  27. The Camp-Out Mystery
  28. The Mystery Girl
  29. The Mystery Cruise
  30. The Disappearing Friend Mystery
  31. The Mystery of the Singing Ghost
  32. The Mystery in the Snow
  33. The Pizza Mystery
  34. The Mystery Horse
  35. The Mystery at the Dog Show
  36. The Castle Mystery
  37. The Mystery of the Lost Village
  38. The Mystery of the Purple Pool
  39. The Ghost Ship Mystery
  40. The Canoe Trip Mystery
  41. The Mystery of the Hidden Beach
  42. The Mystery of the Missing Cat
  43. The Mystery on Stage
  44. The Dinosaur Mystery
  45. The Mystery of the Stolen Music
  46. The Chocolate Sundae Mystery
  47. The Mystery of the Hot Air Balloon
  48. The Mystery Bookstore
  49. The Mystery of the Stolen Boxcar
  50. The Mystery in the Cave
  51. The Mystery on the Train
  52. The Mystery of the Lost Mine
  53. The Guide Dog Mystery
  54. The Hurricane Mystery
  55. The Mystery of the Secret Message
  56. The Firehouse Mystery
  57. The Mystery in San Francisco
  58. The Mystery at the Alamo
  59. The Outer Space Mystery
  60. The Soccer Mystery
  61. The Growling Bear Mystery
  62. The Mystery of the Lake Monster
  63. The Mystery at Peacock Hall
  64. The Black Pearl Mystery
  65. The Cereal Box Mystery
  66. The Panther Mystery
  67. The Mystery of the Stolen Sword
  68. The Basketball Mystery
  69. The Movie Star Mystery
  70. The Mystery of the Pirate’s Map
  71. The Ghost Town Mystery
  72. The Mystery in the Mall
  73. The Gymnastics Mystery
  74. The Poison Frog Mystery
  75. The Mystery of the Empty Safe
  76. The Great Bicycle Race Mystery
  77. The Mystery of the Wild Ponies
  78. The Mystery in the Computer Game
  79. The Mystery at the Crooked House
  80. The Hockey Mystery
  81. The Mystery of the Midnight Dog
  82. The Summer Camp Mystery
  83. The Copycat Mystery
  84. The Haunted Clock Tower Mystery
  85. The Disappearing Staircase Mystery
  86. The Mystery on Blizzard Mountain
  87. The Mystery of the Spider’s Clue
  88. The Mystery of the Mummy’s Curse
  89. The Mystery of the Star Ruby
  90. The Stuffed Bear Mystery
  91. The Mystery at Skeleton Point
  92. The Tattletale Mystery
  93. The Comic Book Mystery
  94. The Ice Cream Mystery
  95. The Midnight Mystery
  96. The Mystery in the Fortune Cookie
  97. The Radio Mystery
  98. The Mystery of the Runaway Ghost
  99. The Finders Keepers Mystery
  100. The Mystery of the Haunted Boxcar
  101. The Clue in the Corn Maze
  102. The Ghost of the Chattering Bones
  103. The Sword of the Silver Knight
  104. The Game Store Mystery
  105. The Mystery of the Orphan Train
  106. The Vanishing Passenger
  107. The Giant Yo-Yo Mystery
  108. The Creature in Ogopogo Lake
  109. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Mystery
  110. The Secret of the Mask
  111. The Seattle Puzzle
  112. The Ghost in the First Row
  113. The Box That Watch Found
  114. A Horse Named Dragon
  115. The Great Detective Race
  116. The Ghost at the Drive-In Movie
  117. The Mystery of the Traveling Tomatoes
  118. The Spy Game
  119. The Dog-Gone Mystery
  120. The Vampire Mystery
  121. Superstar Watch
  122. The Spy in the Bleachers
  123. The Amazing Mystery Show
  124. The Pumpkin Head Mystery
  125. The Cupcake Caper
  126. The Clue in the Recycling Bin
  127. Monkey Trouble
  128. The Zombie Project
  129. The Great Turkey Heist
  130. The Garden Thief
  131. The Boardwalk Mystery
  132. Mystery of the Fallen Treasure
  133. The Return of the Graveyard Ghost
  134. The Mystery of the Stolen Snowboard
  135. The Mystery of the Wild West Bandit
  136. The Mystery of the Soccer Snitch
  137. The Mystery of the Grinning Gargoyle
  138. The Mystery of the Missing Pop Idol
  139. The Mystery of the Stolen Dinosaur Bones
  140. The Mystery at the Calgary Stampede
  141. The Sleepy Hollow Mystery
  142. The Legend of the Irish Castle
  143. The Celebrity Cat Caper
  144. Hidden in the Haunted School
  145. The Election Day Dilemma

Specials:

  1. The Mystery on the Ice
  2. The Mystery in Washington D.C.
  3. The Mystery at Snowflake Inn
  4. The Mystery at the Ballpark
  5. The Pilgrim Village Mystery
  6. The Mystery at the Fair
  7. The Pet Shop Mystery
  8. The Niagara Falls Mystery
  9. The Mystery in the Old Attic
  10. The Windy City Mystery
  11. The Mystery of the Queen’s Jewels
  12. The Mystery of the Black Raven
  13. The Mystery in New York
  14. The Home Run Mystery
  15. The Honeybee Mystery
  16. The Mystery of the Screech Owl
  17. The Mystery of the Tiger’s Eye
  18. The Candy Factory Mystery
  19. The Mystery of Alligator Swamp
  20. The Great Shark Mystery
  21. The Black Widow Spider Mystery