November 21, 2017

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7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar | SLJ Review

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redstarLAZAR, Tara. 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. illus. by Ross MacDonald. 32p. Disney-Hyperion. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484717790.

K-Gr 3 –Private investigator Al F. Bet relates a recent case history—the mysterious disappearance of Number 9. It all starts with Client Number 6, who comes into the office visibly agitated about Number 7. Has shady 7 committed a horrific crime? Are his own days “numbered”? In search of some leads, the PI heads to Café Uno, and after interviewing a series of suspects and witnesses and having a generous serving of pi, he adds up the evidence in page after page of math-related wordplay. The intrepid investigator ignores all negatives, solving the mystery of the missing number by searching the streets and questioning a collection of verbose cartoon personalities (created digitally with Photoshop, colored pencil, and watercolor) featured prominently on the page. Readers will enjoy finding all of the math references hidden in the text and the art. The dialogue will gain appreciative groans up to the final moment, when Al is ready to resume his letter cases, because “they’re A-OK in his book.” VERDICT An A-1 purchase for those who love plays on words, mysteries, and humorous tales.–Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2017 issue.

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