Owl’s Outstanding Donuts

Carolrhoda. Sept. 2019. 232p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541533059.
Gr 4-6–Since Mattie’s mother died, Mattie has been living in a trailer next to her Aunt Molly’s donut shop in Big Sur. One night, Mattie is awakened by an owl tapping on her window, and looks out just in time to see a white truck dumping toxic chemicals in the ditch across from the donut shop. With help from her friends, energetic Beanie and skeptical Sasha, Mattie is determined to get to the bottom of who dumped the gloop; especially since official suspicion soon falls on Aunt Molly. To solve the mystery, Mattie will have to face the fear of riding in cars that she’s had ever since her mother’s death. This eco-mystery may appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen. Narrated mostly from Mattie’s perspective, with occasional chapters from the point of view of Alfred the irritable owl, this book has gentle humor, some action at the climax, and a touching examination of Mattie’s grief. With strong pacing, a fully-realized setting, and well-developed characters, there’s something for everyone.
VERDICT A general purchase for most collections.

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