Summer Reading Program (4): Mike’s Mystery

Well…look at that. Despite what Muffin kindly told me (see the comments), I had it in my head that I only had until the 15th to finish my reviews.

Alright, I’ve a few more days and it’s time to get cracking. Considering I’ve read three books since I got home from work this evening, there’s obviously some work to do.

Earlier this summer, I had a bizarre desire to re-read the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. While I sped through all of her books when I was probably between the ages of 8-10, I only read the ones she wrote, and have never been able to get into the more modern versions being published under her name.

Then I went on a reservation binge at work and I’m in the process of rereading all of the original 19 books that Ms Chandler Warner wrote. Starting with Mike’s Mystery.

Mike is a character who appeared in the second book in the series, Surprise Island, a resurfaces as a uranium mine. He’s a classmate of Benny’s and he’s loud and just slightly annoying. I realized about half way through the book that he’s a lot like some of my kids (at work)–great in small doses and good if you can keep them busy but when they’re bored they can drive you to distraction.

Someone is engaged in an attempt to cause problems at the uranium mine and it’s up to the children to figure out who is at fault. What makes this mystery a little different from the others is that the Alden children aren’t really the central figures–even for Warner. Instead she focuses on this other ten year old (age is my estimation) and let’s him be bright enough to determine what’s going on and to help bring down the bad guy.

John Carter plays an essential role–and as an adult I remember he seemed a slightly romantic character to me as a child. Then he was this mysterious cool guy who had connections to the FBI and was just always “there” to help with everything. As an adult, I’m not exactly clear on his role. He’s definitely around all the time to bail the Alden children out of trouble but how that equals being a jack-of-all-trades for Mr. Alden and being connected to the FBI is a little beyond me.

I’ll be plowing through the rest of them–about ten of them came in today for me. 🙂