First, The Kingdom of Wrenly, a fantastic new Bridge Chapter Book series with the rare (for this reading level) traditional fantasy setting and now Greetings from Somewhere. This mystery series for emerging readers, written by Harper Paris and illustrated by Marcos Calo, takes place in locations all over the world! It is definitely a great time to be a reader making the leap from leveled readers to chapter books!
Greetings from Somewhere begins with a premise that is similar to The Magic Treehouse series. Second graders Ethan and Ella Briar are twins who are about to travel the world when their mother, a newspaper reporter who has a new assignment. Early on in the first book in the series, The Mystery of the Gold Coin, Ethan and Ella even retreat to their treehouse. But the similarities end there, especially since there is no magic in Greetings from Somewhere - but there definitely is mystery!
In Book 1 we learn that Mr. Briar, a history professor, will home school Ella and Ethan while the Briars are traveling the world so Mrs. Briar can write her "Journeys with Jo!" column. Grandpa Harry, Mrs. Briar's father, was an archaeologist who also traveled the world and he comes to visit, reassuring the twins that they will enjoy their travels. And, for their travels, Grandpa Harry gives Ella a brand new journal to write in (she loves to write poems and mysteries, "The Case of the Missing Diamond" being her latest) and a gold coin with a globe on one side and a hawk on the other for Ethan. When this coin goes missing the day that the Briars are due to leave, Ella and Ethan retrace their steps from the day before to track it down. Ella takes notes at all the places they search and, with minutes to spare, they solve the mystery! Harper Paris does a great job of creating a genuine mystery that is believably solved by two kids.
In the second book in the series, The Mystery of the Mosaic, the Briars arrive in Venice, Italy and the mysteries, thanks to Grandpa Harry, begin right away, with an email titled, "Two Clues." But when Ella and Ethan notice a red haired man sneaking into a gondola, a gondola that belongs to a new Venetian friend, they find themselves with two mysteries on their hands. Like The Magic Treehouse series, The Mystery of the Mosaic is peppered with historical, geographical and cultural facts, which is fantastic, and each book even has a glossary at the end. I can't wait to read the next books in this superb new series as the Briars travel to France, China and Africa!
More Greetings from Somewhere
titles coming soon!
Coming May, 2014! Coming August, 2014!
Coming September, 2014!
Source: Review Copy