The Case of the Pen Gone Missing: A Mickey Rangel Mystery / El caso de la pluma perdida: Colección Mickey Rangel, detective privado
An entertaining bilingual novel for intermediate readers.
by René Saldaña, Jr.
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
When Toots Rodriguez approaches Mickey on the playground, he knows something is up. Toots, the prettiest girl in the fifth grade, never talks to Mickey, not even when they’re assigned to work together on a class project. But Toots has come to Mickey because she’s in trouble, and he’s a detective. The real deal. He has a badge and a certificate after completing an online course two years ago.
“You have to believe me, Mickey. I didn’t take that pen. I didn’t.” When Toots shines her big green eyes on him and insists repeatedly that she’s innocent, Mickey’s intuition tells him to run fast in the opposite direction. But he’s a sucker for a pretty girl, so he takes on the case of the missing pen.
Rumor has it that Toots stole Eddy’s pen. It’s not just any old pen; it’s his dad’s pen. It has the White House logo on it. Eddy’s father, a senator from South Texas, got the pen from the President of the United States when he visited the White House last year. As Mickey begins his investigation, though, all the clues point to Toots and her newly ex-boyfriend as the primary suspects.
The first book in The Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. has crafted another appealing book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.
Nominated to the WA White Children’s Book Awards Master Lists 2011-2012; Named to the 2010-2011 Tejas Star Reading List
“Mickey is a real, honest-to-goodness private detective; he has his diploma, badge, and several solved crimes to prove it. His skills and judgment are tested when Toots Rodríguez, the prettiest girl in his class, asks him to help her clear her name, which has been tainted by the disappearance of a collectible pen that was presented at show-and-tell that morning. Mickey has to fight his inclination to immediately assume her innocence and has to make constant mental notes to remain objective. Mickey and his mysterious letter-writing angel are pretty sure that Toots and her boyfriend, Bucho, the school bully, have conspired to leave with the pen in their pockets; proving it is another matter. Lively and entertaining narrative coupled with attractive illustrations will make this book a favorite among young mystery readers.”—School Library Journal
“This bilingual chapter-book edition…will engage intermediate readers in both languages, English and Spanish, and offers multiple possibilities for school projects, group discussions and read-aloud sessions. Villarroel’s well-crafted translation into Spanish maintains the suspense and humor of the original English version, narrated by Mickey in fine, hard-boiled style.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A Spanish translation of the story is bound in with the English, making this a good choice for bilingual school and public library collections.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
RENÉ SALDAÑA, JR. is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people that depict life in Mexican-American communities. Reviewers have used words like “powerful,” “provocative,” “engaging,” and “accessible” to describe his work. In A Good Long Way, an affecting novel that follows the troubled lives of three teens in deep South Texas, Saldaña once again writes a fast-paced narrative that will engage young adults in questions about their own lives and responsibilities to family, friends, and most of all, to themselves. He is the author of a bilingual story collection, Dancing with the Devil and Other Tales from Beyond / Bailando con el Diablo y otros cuentos del más allá (Piñata Books, 2012), which features supernatural elements rooted in Latino folklore. His other books include The Whole Sky Full of Stars (Random House, 2007), Finding Our Way: Stories (2003) and The Jumping Tree (Delacorte, 2001). He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.
Learn more at renesaldanajr.blogspot.com.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower/Middle Grade
Category: Intermediate Reader
ATOS English: 4.7
ATOS Spanish: 4.9
LEXILE Spansih: 710L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 134033