Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph, a story for ages 9 to 12, is a fun mystery with realistic clues to allow the reader to solve the mystery along with the Botanic Hill Detectives. Join the detectives as they use their own knowledge with the help of the experts they know to solve the case and try to restore Dr. Thornsley’s reputation.
Readers will enjoy learning facts about Egypt along with the four young detectives while the events and clues are realistic and there is no spoiler, it is engaging until the very last page. The author begins the book with a youthful description and drawn maps of where the book will take place, making the actions in the book easy to understand, as the kids move quickly to find clues in different locations near their home.
Pg. 20: “But this case was right in their neighborhood. They had to solve it, mainly for Dr. and Mrs. Thornsley.”
The four juvenile detectives live in a prestigious, economically advantaged world and although their lifestyle may not be very relatable, their actions are quite age-appropriate.
Pg. 35: The twins were proud of their famous parents, Dr. Ian Wyatt and Dr. Becky Marlton.
With parents being scientific experts, it is easy to recognize where children of their age are able to attain the necessary information they need to solve mysteries. Two of the main characters are twins born to famous parents and the other two are also a brother and sister pair, highlighting a rich relationship between siblings.
For an older reader, the viability of the characters may seem unrealistic due to inconsistencies in the high academic level of vocabulary spoken by the main characters and their affluence. Readers may wonder why these children are not in school and given an enormous amount of freedom. This does get addressed regarding the twins late in the story, although there remains questions about why the other two children are also granted the same liberties.
Despite some of the improbability of the lifestyles of these main characters, the plot definitely overshadows any disparity and keeps the reader engaged until the very last page. Readers who enjoyed “The Magic Treehouse” series and “39 Clues” will enjoy the endeavors of these young detectives.
4 out of 5 stars
2020 CBialczak Book Reviews