The Brixton Brothers 1: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity - Mac Barnett

Dear Mom,
I won't be home this weekend because I'm wanted for treason and I have to clear my name. Also, I took the last Sprite from the fridge.

Steve Brixton is a huge fan of the Bailey Brothers Mysteries and always has The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook at hand so he can refer to such useful tips as how to identify crooks (watch for the limp!) or good hiding places (Secret tunnels!). He even has a Genuine Detective's Investigation License which he got by mailing in a bunch of cereal box tops. He dreams of solving mysteries and catching criminals. But not this weekend. This weekend he has to write up a report on Early American Needlework, due on Monday, so he trudges to the library to check out a book for research. As he's checking the book out, however, the lights go out and the building is overrun by a bunch of thugs in greasepaint and black gear, and they're apparently out to catch him!

It's a hilarious story that really riffs on old classics like the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown: Steve tries to follow the advice of the Bailey Brothers, which only works some of the time. Meanwhile, he becomes the most wanted "detective" in Ocean Park, and learns some surprising things about Librarians. There is a mystery to be solved, but the fun of the book is in its absurdity; the way that the adults in the book treat Steve as he tries to solve the mystery and clear his name.

I hadn't heard of this book before it showed up at our library, but the cover copy was goofy enough to catch my attention: "We think you'll agree: Steve Brixton's first adventure is his best adventure yet." I'm looking forward to the next in the series, whenever that's available.

Here's my slightly longer review on GeekDad.

Fed to jonathan's brain | January 25, 2010 | Comments (0)


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