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Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library
The Detective Mystery Squad tries to stop a bookworm from eating words in stories. The mystery unwinds as the three sleuths uncover a world where books are born and legends guard a library that doesn't exist.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10


Plot: The second book in this bookish adventure series again stars the middle grade members of the Detective Mystery Squad as they uncover a portal within a Victorian house that leads them to another dimension and enigmatic secret library. 

Prose: Haight and Robinson vividly capture the world of preteen detectives through lively descriptions, a gentle building of tension, and witty dialogue.

Originality: This work certainly carries threads reminiscent of other middle grade stories featuring intrepid kid detectives, but the authors create a novel hidden world with unexpected conflicts and playfully labyrinthine twists. 

Character Development: Central characters Fairday and Lizzy are especially charismatic and effectively developed. Both child and adult characters demonstrate distinctive characteristics and share notable chemistry on the page. 

Date Submitted: August 30, 2019

Haight and Robinson follow The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow with this delightful mystery that sets the Detective Mystery Squad on the trail of a threat to stories everywhere. Fifth grader Fairday Morrow has recently moved into Begonia House, a “crumbling Victorian” in Connecticut, from Manhattan, where she and her friends Lizzy Mackerville and Marcus Brocket solved more than one case. As Fairday’s parents struggle to repair the house, riddles lead the children to the Talking Library—home to chatting tomes and all first editions—located in a parallel world accessible from Begonia House. The Librarian, Fas, explains that a bookworm is loose, “changing stories and destroying the books’ lives,” and that its feasting could destroy all stories, everywhere. To contact the Myxtress Eldrich, who can defeat the bookworm, the trio must solve more clues and riddles. Along the way, they receive assistance from a retired investigative journalist and must avoid a snooping reporter. This fine combination of clever kids, arcane mysteries, and witty conundrums falls nicely in-line with other novels featuring riddle-solving kids and literary and linguistic references. Ages 8–12. (BookLife)