These reviews are for Something’s Missing, a Viking Club Sports Mystery for Children, Ages 8 to 12 (Paperback, 80 pages), published October 2012.
By Barb in Toronto (5 out of 5 stars)
“Well written, entertaining children’s book with good life lessons. Feels like it should be a series! I am passing it on to my husband to share with his grade 6 class. Please write more!!!”
Amazon.ca (an Amazon Verified Purchase)
By Ross Grenier (5 out of 5 stars)
“Nothing Missing in This Story”
“The story line is good for a child interested in sports, and the mystery element adds to the excitement. There is good character development and a message of morality and sportsmanship.”
By D. Folwer Top 50 ReviewerVineTM 5 out of 5 stars
“Vikings’ Coach Peters somehow seemed really tough on some of the players. Even twelve-year-old Chris sometimes felt his sting when he was ignored, but often tried to shout out encouragement to the other players. Kieran’s combination stick-and glove-save kept the Vikings going, but if he let the Pirates score, the coach would put him on ignore. Chris’s dad who was “still away on a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan,” instilled in him the importance of team play. It really hurt to look up in the stands and see that empty spot – the spot his dad should be in. The Vikings were on home ice and it was “the perfect time to show those Pirates who the winners were” and Chris knew he was a winner.
Jaylon was was a ten-year-old Viking and didn’t like anything about his team. Nothing. His dad used to call the Warriors, a team he used to be on, the “Winningest Warriors.” Yeah, they were, but since they moved he was on the Losingest Vikings. How could they win with nine-year-old kids like Davis Fenner on the team? Jaylon played center and Davis was a right-winger and so he was stuck with him. His dad tried to console him by saying, “It’s important to be a good sport and not complain about losing; winners are also good losers.” Dynamite Dan, a former Viking with a “deadly accurate wrist shot,” was going to watch their game. Jaylon wondered what he’d have to say about a bunch of losers.
Rebecca was nursing a painful bruise to her ribs. It happened when her best friend, Marion, illegally checked her during a game. Seriously, she had a chance to score a goal, but it seemed like her so-called friend was out to get her and Coach Brannigan didn’t even notice that move. Rebecca’s mom told her to give Marion the benefit of the doubt, but Rebecca was convinced that “Marion would rather play hockey for the All Stars than be my friend.”
During the final game, Marion’s dad told her that the trophy for the winning team was missing. “If we lose the tournament,” Rebecca exclaimed, “people will blame the Vikings for stealing the trophy. We’ll be accused of being poor sports.” Chris, Jaylon, and Rebecca just may have seen something, but what could they do to help get the trophy back?
Chris, Jaylon, and Rebecca quickly forge a bond to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Of course each young player is experiencing problems of their own, but unexpectedly have to join forces to help out the Vikings.
This tale reinforces the ethic of good sportsmanship even though it sometimes seems like an impossibility. For example, should Rebecca ignore the fact that her supposed best friend injured her to get ahead in the game? The storyline flows quickly, something that will entice young readers, especially the reluctant ones who will join the trio in the quest to solve the mystery of the missing trophy.
There are a few clues scattered throughout the book, but only the best of the young mystery buffs will be able to solve the case!”
By Spudman Top 100 Reviewer 5 out of 5 stars
“Maureen Grenier scores a hat trick with Something’s Missing, a young reader’s book with likable characters, engaging story, and issues important to her targeted age group. Were I back in the classroom, I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this well written book to individual students or to fellow teachers as a book to be read by an entire class.
Young readers will like the short chapters, the perfect pacing, the young main characters, and the themes of friendship, integrity, sportsmanship, and learning from failures. Some writers of juvenile literature write down to their audience or use vocabulary and sentence structure too sophisticated for their readers. In Something’s Missing the author is always aware of her audience and hits the sweet spot of appropriate vocabulary level. In one chapter I was blindsided by the appearance of “perfunctory”, but it happens to be one of my favorite words; besides, the occasional difficult word challenges the reader.
The action in “Something Missing” is woven into the intrigue and suspense of a hockey tournament and thus hockey terms abound in the story line. Some knowledge of hockey would be helpful for the reader although the author uses context clues for terms such as checking or hat trick to help the non-hockey minded reader understand some hockey jargon.
Personally I am impressed by the writing skills of the author, her condensed style, and her excellent use of vivid verbs to convey story action. Something’s Missing is the first of a planned mystery series; I am looking forward to the next installment.”
Amazon.ca (An Amazon Verified Purchase)
By Choosymom 5 out of 5 stars
“Well written, very entertaining. Teaches important values, fair play, sportsmanship. Great kid appeal. Loved the characters & I hope this is just the first in a series. Reminded me of how much I loved reading Nancy Drew’s as a child.”
Amazon.ca (An Amazon Verified Purchase)
“Great Characters! An engaging book for young readers. Most kids will recognize the settings in this well-crafted novel: the arena, the school, the family minivan. The story focuses on three young hockey players, each nurturing a loss. The three work together and come up with a satisfying solution to a mystery, earning some personal insights along the way. I’m looking forward to reading the next in this series.”
Amazon.com (An Amazon Verified Purchase)
“Kid Approved! My little hockey player really enjoyed the mystery and all the hockey action!!!! Good sportsmanship lesson for any child. We look forward to getting the next in the series.”
A DH Review
“Thank you! I got the verdict today from my 9 year-old grandson and it was a big thumbs up! He is a very poor and unenthusiastic reader and so he has to read a few pages for his mum or dad each night before bed. Usually at the end of every page, he asks if that is enough but he actually volunteered to read more of Something’s Missing. So, that is praise indeed! In fact he is very enthusiastic about the book – it has made one little guy very happy (and his parents, too).”