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Oct
17
2011
Oct 17, 2011

By: Carolyn Keene
4.5 snowballs

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.
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My daughter is quite the avid reader and here at thingsthatwedo.com, I try to review books that she’s currently reading so that you can all have immediate feedback from me on what I think of the books because honestly, after a while, mommy brain kicks in and I can’t remember a thing.
Most recently, my daughter has been really interested in reading the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series. Her latest Nancy Drew book involved the Case of the Sneaky Snowman. Now, given that she’s younger than the target audience for this book, I will always be thankful that she has an amazing teacher who reminded me to make sure and support her reading.  While my child may be able to read the words, she may not yet have the life experiences to decode everything that she’s reading. So, what exactly happens in this latest Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew mystery?

Children’s Book Review: What happens to Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew?

I’ll keep it short and sweet and let you know that Nancy, Bess, and George worked together and built a phenomenal snowman in true Clue Crew fashion. Instead of a carrot nose, this snowman comes with a broccoli nose, doggie treats for the buttons and eyes, and ear muffs hand made by Bess. To top it all off, Nancy, Bess, and George name their snowman, Sherlock! In the same park, the girls discover Madame Chocolata has set up shop. For $1, Madame Chocolata will give you a cup of piping hot chocolate and she’ll also read your marshmallows and tell you your fortune.
What ensues is a series of crazy events, with all of Madame Chocolata’s predictions coming true, including the disappearance of Sherlock. The Clue Crew are now on the case to find out what happened to Sherlock and who is behind all the pranks some of which involve snow covered eggballs. And, exactly how is Madame Chocolata able to predict the future?

If you’ve ever read any of the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series, you’ll know that the ending is quite positive and logical. By the end of this book, you and your child will also get to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Now, for eager parents who want to know, I can tell you this much: Madame Chocolata is someone Nancy, Bess, and George know quite well and NO, she can’t read your future in those marshmallows.  We discover what happens to Sherlock and who is the causing for all the chaos at the park. And NO, it’s not a real Snowman.

Would I recommend this Nancy Drew book for Your Child?

I have to be honest with you all and tell you that this definitely isn’t my favourite Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew storyline. There are many things I didn’t care for in this storyline.  While I’m glad the mystery is solved at the end of the book and you know Madame Chocolata is a hoax (her sidekick has been secretly trying to make her predictions come true so that more children will come to buy the hot chocolate so that he could continue to get his share of the money), I’m not sure I’d be okay with my child reading this book alone to discover that the sidekick did all this just to make a crooked dollar. In this way, I would have loved to see Carolyn Keene take the story a little farther to let people know what happened to all the money that was in essence, scammed by Madame Chocolata. Did it get returned to all the children that got conned?
On the other hand, I understand the importance of having such context for older children to problem solve and navigate but how many parents have the time to do this with them? I myself spent a long time with my daughter talking over the whys and how comes of this book. Why did certain characters act a certain way? Was there another way they could have earned that money?
I also don’t like some of the other smaller details in the book. I mean, really, do the professional ice skaters have to be Russian with thick Russian accents? How relevant is that really to the storyline? Does the book have to make reference to ghosts when Nancy Drew catches a glimpse of something that she can’t quite figure out? Perhaps I’m being picky but I think there were other ways to approach these 2 topics without falling into the norm.
At the same time, I like the fact that Nancy Drew never gets swayed by others no matter how much they think that Madame Chocolata can predict the future. She held true to her beliefs and found evidence to prove what was really happening. This message was the one I really focused on for my daughter.


Verdict:

There are some benefits to reading Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew that go beyond solving the mystery. Over the course of different Nancy Drew books, my child has had a lot more practice being a creative thinker: to come up with possible answers and explanations to justify her train of thought. I now get a lot of, “Maybe the Snowman is really ….because….” I absolutely love that she’s able to put 2 different thoughts together to come up with a logical sequence of events. We both try to figure out ‘who did it’ before the end of the book, looking for clues to help support our predictions. For that level of cognitive exercise, I think this Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew book is well worth the read!
Let me end off this book review by stating the obvious. This book review on Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew  is by ThingsThatWeDo.com and no one else. If you see this review anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this product review (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. It’s sad that I now have to be mindful of using such language to make sure others don’t just swipe away the material that I’ve so carefully typed up. I mean, after all, who’s the one coming up with all these opinions? Me, of course! Me, myself, and I here at thingsthatwedo dot com!
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