Finders Creepers

Scholastic. (Half Past Peculiar: Bk. 1). Jul. 2020. 224p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781338254464.
Gr 3-5–Atticus and Esmeralda Fetch are not only twins, they are the best pet finders in town. When they come across an old ‘Lost Pet’ flyer in their basement, they are led to a creepy old house that they have never seen before. It turns out the missing dog, Maxwell, was not really missing. His owners shoo the twins away; but, never ones to turn away from a mystery, the kids soon return. Inside the house, they discover strange artifacts and a portal that takes them on an exciting adventure to another world. Similar to Fridolf’s and Nguyen’s “Study Hall of Justice” series, this novel is told in a combination of prose and graphic panels. The illustrations are reminiscent of Edward Gorey’s pen-and-ink drawings and Charles Addams’ cartoons. The first in a series, this book seems to be laying the groundwork for subsequent installments; the majority of the plot is background and setup, with only the last few chapters containing the real action. The book ends abruptly with a cliffhanger.
VERDICT The mixture of prose and graphic novel elements make this story accessible to reluctant readers. Some kids will be eager for the next book in the series, while others may be left wishing for a clear resolution.

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