By Marcia Wells. Ages 9 to 12.
An 11-year-old boy is the secret weapon of the New York Police Department. He uses his photographic memory and amazing drawing skills to help catch criminals. His code name is Eddie Red.
Eddie must be super smart and super cool, right? Actually, the guy behind the code name is Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, a funny sixth-grader. He admits that for him, solving a police investigation takes a “boatload of dumb luck.”
And he needs it! First he has to convince everyone that he can do the job. His parents worry about his safety and his homework. Detective Bovano, his cranky boss, thinks Eddie will mess up and get hurt.
Detective Bovano sends Eddie to several museums in a part of New York City called Museum Mile. Undercover as an art student, Eddie is supposed to draw pictures while watching for a group of thieves who have stolen valuable paintings and may be plotting to take more.
Does Eddie mess up? Yes! Many times. But his biggest mistake is to tell best friend Jonah about his work, even though it’s supposed to be secret. Then things get more complicated when the class bully targets both boys.
Finally, Eddie and Jonah figure out an important clue to the investigation. But Detective Bovano refuses to believe the truth!
To convince him, Eddie decides to go undercover again, this time as a Girl Scout.
Eddie may not be serious and organized like the teenage detective in the well-known Nancy Drew series, but he keeps trying — and he keeps making jokes. And along the way, he discovers how to deal with both art thieves and that classroom bully.
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Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, a mystery in which two sixth-graders try to find a stolen painting by Johannes Vermeer, a famous Dutch artist from the 1600s. Look for the codes and puzzles in the accompanying illustrations by Brett Helquist.
Young readers should look for The Great Art Caper by Victoria Jamieson. In this funny graphic chapter book, three classroom pets — a hamster, a rabbit and a guinea pig — team up to save the school’s art show from a band of scheming mice.
By Derek Landy. Ages 8 to 12.
When Stephanie Edgley’s uncle, a popular horror writer, dies, she is left with questions about the mysterious and dark world he left behind. Skulduggery Pleasant, a 400-year-old skeleton detective, helps Stephanie find justice by solving her uncle’s murder. But the duo is led to a far more dangerous path as they try to stop an evil general from getting the Scepter of the Ancients, a weapon that can bring back wicked gods called the Faceless Ones. Stephanie also discovers something magical about herself that opens the door to another world.
The Summer Book Club is open to kids ages 5 to 14. Children may read some or all of the books on our list. (Find a blurb for each book at wapo.st/kidspostbookclublaunch.) The first 650 kids registered will receive a drawstring book bag. To join the club, children must be registered by a parent or guardian. To register, that adult must fill out our form at wapo.st/kidspostbookclub2018 or send the child’s first and last names, age and address to KidsPost Summer Book Club, The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.