Digging up Danger
Digging up Danger

Series: The Story Pirates Present Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Amateur ghost expert Eliza, thirteen, joins her botanist mother on a job in a very old flower shop, where each investigates some highly unusual things.
Catalog Number: #179088
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Rodale Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Aly, Hatem,
Pages: 275 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-635-65091-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-635-65091-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018009731
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Part story, part manual for young writers, this Story Pirates mash-up features a mystery developed by a professional writer from a contest-winning idea submitted by an eight-year-old, linked section by section to an extensive gathering of prompts and advice on crafting a whodunit. A dedicated ghost hunter, Eliza is thrilled when her botanist mom is hired by an exotic plants business run out of a spooky old Brooklyn mansion. When a series of creepy incidents signal some eerie game's afoot, Eliza's sleuthing instincts come into play. The MacGuffin (not a term used here: the authors generally steer clear of genre cant) turns out to be not a ghost but a previously unknown, fantastically valuable stolen plant th a shape-changing guardian who wants it back. The caper is charged with chills, thrills, and even funny twists; the technical advice (with its oft-repeated "you have PERMISSION TO GET WEIRD!") is spot-on, and the original idea (for which the young author was awarded a flat fee lcome to freelancing!) is included at the end. Finished illustrations not seen.
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Arrr you ready to read (and possibly write) a spooky mystery?Following series opener Stuck in the Stone Age (2018), performers and writing teachers the Story Pirates issue their second novel and writing-manual mashup; this time, it's a ghostly mystery. Thirteen-year-old Eliza Stahl and her botanist mother plan to spend a couple of summer months helping rare-plant dealers Winston and Camilla Carroll identify exotic plants at their shop in New York City. Eliza's reluctant until she sees the shop; she wants to be a paranormal investigator, and she's sure Carrolls' Gardens is haunted. Strange noises in the attic, a shadowy figure, and the odd behavior of the Carrolls and their teenage nephew, Tommy, prompt Eliza to suspect ghosts and even possession. When a rare plant goes missing, Eliza's mother joins the investigation…but things are about to get weird! Eliza and her mom present white, while the Carrolls are people of color. As with the first in the Story Pirates Present series, this shivery mystery was inspired by a story idea from a real kid: here, Phoebe Wolinetz. Periodically throughout the tale, Rolo (captain of the Story Pirates) and Wolinetz pop up in an illustration to direct readers interested in the crafting of the mystery to the Mystery Construction Zone, 90 pages of detailed writing instruction, at the back. It's a fantastic, step-by-step guide with prompts, ideas, definitions, and forms for aspiring Edgar winners.West's tale, decorated with Aly's eerie, cartoon art, is well worth reading on its own—the writing manual takes it to a whole other level. (Paranormal mystery/nonfiction hybrid. 8-14)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.0 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q76454
Lexile: 640L

Ghosts? A mysterious plant? Something even more sinister? This spooky mystery (inspired by a real kid's idea) doubles as a creative writing guide for young writers! 

Eliza loves hunting ghosts — too bad she's spending the summer helping her scientist mother study weird plants instead.  But when a mysterious plant goes missing, things go from strange to downright spooky. Eliza is convinced something—or someone—is haunting the plant shop. Is she digging into dangerous ground? 

Like Stuck in the Stone Age, the first in the Story Pirates Present series, this spine-tingling mystery doubles as an introduction to the basics of creative writing. With the help of Story Pirate Captain Vincent Rolo and the Mystery Creation Zone, kids can use this kid-generated story as inspiration to create their OWN great mysteries!

“What a fantastically fun way to learn about writing a story!”  — Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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