The Case of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Dog
By Martha Freeman
First in the “First Kids Mystery” series, this is a fun and revealing look at the possible life of kids living in the White House. Cammie’s mom was elected President after being Senator for several years, so ten-year-old Cammie already knows all the kids in her class. Now she lives in the White House with several family members and one very enthusiastic dog. When a popular boy band is due to play at the White House, everyone wants to be invited. But, when a foreign dignitary visits and items start disappearing, it looks like the concert will be cancelled. Is their dog the culprit? If so, how did things disappear when he was under control? And where are these things now? Of course, the kids manage to save the day.
The plot is exciting and plausible enough to hold a second grader’s attention. One plus is that the kids are able to solve their own problems despite being surrounded by very helpful adults. Also, the reader will learn a lot about the set up of the White House, its living quarters, and the historical context of the various rooms and furnishings. For example, through the use of the President’s Own Marine Band, the reader learns about the band and its traditions and about John Philip Sousa. Most of the story is written at second grade level, so kids should be able to handle it with minimum help. The characters, especially Cammie, are well-developed and have a lot for the reader to identify with. Her seven-year-old sister, Tessa, is smart and irrepressible. Their ten-year-old cousin, Nate, loves to make trouble for the sisters but learns his lesson well.
The cover art is attractive and will help to draw in readers.