Illustrated by Emma McCann
For ages 8+
Huge welcome to everyone reading this who found me today via the Usborne Blog Tour! Lovely to see you! I'm so happy to share my book review with you all. Hopefully you'll feel inspired to borrow a copy from your library or purchase a copy from your local bookshop (or online from my Bookshop.org shop link at the end of this post).
This is the sixth 'Anisha, Accidental Detective' mystery in this very popular detective series! What's so super about a lot of series written for younger readers is that you don't have to read them in order! This is also a super read for a more reluctant reader as it's filled with super fun illustrations that are engaging and reduce the overwhelming feeling some readers can feel when faced with page after page filled with just text.
About the story
It's almost Halloween and Anisha Mistry's Primary School are putting on a school disco. They haven't had an Halloween disco for 10 years, so it's a really big deal. There does seem to be some secrecy over as to why there hasn't been one for so long, there are rumours of something disastrous happening.
While most children in the school are besides themselves with excitement there are two pupils in particular who are NOT: Anisha and class 'mean girl' Beena. Whereas a school disco really just isn't book-loving, Space obsessed Anisha's cup of tea, Beena's extremely lavish birthday party has been booked for the same day (and she is furious about it).
Aside from worrying about the forthcoming disco and the school's mega obsession with all the preparations, Anisha comes home from school one afternoon to find Beena's mum in her living room talking up a new housing development on the other side of town, which would mean moving and then also mean moving school too. She definitely couldn't face that, especially as it would mean not living near to her best friend, co-detective, and classmate - Milo! Luckily, Anisha's hilarious and adorable Granny Jas is on the case running her very own sabotage mission whereby the reader is treated to all sorts protestations (which made me giggle rather a lot).
Most importantly, remember this is a detective story? Anisha and Milo, along with Anisha's cousins, Mindy and Manny, must investigate some very spooky scenarios. How does Skeleton Fred 'come alive' during the science lesson and freak everyone out, including teachers Miss Bunsen and Mr Graft? What supernatural forces are at work when during a disco planning meeting with Mr Graft, the library books start flying off the shelves and across the room causing the library to be closed (big issue for Anisha)? What caused the vat of soup in the canteen at lunchtime to be changed into slime?
These are just some of the very ghostly goings on at 'Birmingham South-West Aspire Junior Middle High Academy School' that Anisha and her squad need to investigate. They must hunt for clues, work through each incident and put together a list of suspects then flush the true culprit out!! If they find the cause of all the unexplained phenomena, then the Halloween disco won't be cancelled and they can all have some well-deserved dressing-up and dancing fun with their friends and families.
This is a super fun story with it's funny moments muddled in with important messages about friendship, fairness, honesty and forgiveness. Lovely for bedtime stories, independent reading, and for a read-aloud in classrooms. There's also a 'Make Your Own Slime' recipe, instructions and 'sciencey' facts at the back.
Free teaching resources and activity downloads
About the creators
Serena Patel (author)
Serena Patel is the author of the Anisha, Accidental Detective series which won the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award for Fiction. She lives in the West Midlands with her family and believes all children deserve to feel seen in the stories they read and that books are an important tool for empathy. When she's not writing Serena enjoys watching movies, reading and eating cake. Chocolate cake preferred.
Emma McCann (illustrator)
In her own words: "Emma McCann. Freelance illustrator, sporadic painter/print maker, regular scone eater. Part time library nerd, full time all-round dude."
Grab a copy
Buy here through my affiliate link at Bookshop.org or purchase from your local independent bookshop...
Publication date: 15 September 2022
Also available in this series:
*My review copy was kindly provided by the PR/publisher.
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