Wreck at Ada’s Reef

Pixel+Ink. (Swallowtail Legacy: Bk. 1). Feb. 2022. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781645950486.
Gr 3-8–Will Meadowlark Elizabeth Heron Finch, 12, be able to keep her cool as she solves a decades old mystery and is stuck, all summer, on an island with her stepbrothers and sister? Lark is dealing with the death of her mom and dad. Working through the loss and anger with the help of her stepdad, she begins working for Nadine, her mom’s best friend. Together, they search for clues about a tragic boat accident to find a long-lost will, keeping their progress hidden from the nefarious head of the Cheever clan and his developers as they attempt to save the home of an octogenarian, Dinah. The summer is strewn with adventures for Lark: soccer camp, new relationships, and hijinks that develop for her and her siblings due to her investigations. Fans of mystery will enjoy how Lark goes all out to solve this case. References to old movies and ancient philosophers may go over the heads of most in this age group, yet do not detract from the story line. Main characters are well fleshed out, and the author does a wonderful job of bringing this island and its inhabitants to life. The story line is a bit predictable, but readers will enjoy the resilience of the plucky main character.
VERDICT An entertaining mystery for fans of Sammy Keyes and Nancy Drew about family, loss, and the importance of friendship.

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