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, the first in a series of Mickey Rangel Mysteries, 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. Mora’s illustrations add a refreshing touch, effectively breaking up the text in this appealing introduction.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Lively and entertaining narrative coupled with attractive illustrations will make this book a favorite among young mystery readers.”—Críticas
“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
Praise for the Mickey Rangel Mystery Series:
“Accompanied by an excellent Spanish translation, this title is a good introduction to the hardships of immigration for young children, with the trappings of school mystery. Kids will enjoy this solid addition. Recommended, especially for public libraries with bilingual collections.”—School Library Journal on A Mystery Bigger than Big / Un misterio más grande que grandísimo
“Mickey is a great kid private eye in the tradition of Encyclopedia Brown and the Three Investigators. Saldaña cleverly inserts some lessons about spelling and grammar into the fast-moving plot, which revolves around the fact that the graffiti-writer can’t spell. This is ideal for reluctant readers.”—School Library Journal on The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker / El misterio del malvado marcador
“The brief, fast-moving mystery appears first in English, then Spanish, in Villarroel’s translation. His prose is peppy, and his mystery, while quickly solved, hammers home a solid grammar lesson as a bonus. Though he’s no teacher’s pet, Mickey’s smarts make him a welcome protagonist.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker / El misterio del malvado marcador
“Important lessons are learned in this timely tale that will engage curious readers and spark important conversations. Short chapters make this book ideal for reluctant readers and a strong addition to any intermediate collection.”—School Library Journal on The Curse of the Bully’s Wrath / La maldición de la ira del abusón
“A solid resource for younger kids to learn about how best to tackle a bully and how to find your voice and speak up for not only yourself, but those around you.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Curse of the Bully’s Wrath / La maldición de la ira del abusón
“This entertaining bilingual chapter book that will engage readers and draw them into the mystery.”—School Library Journal on The Lemon Tree Caper / La intriga del limonero
“This brisk novella in English and Spanish offers two nifty whodunits for young mystery lovers.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Lemon Tree Caper / La intriga del limonero
RENÉ SALDAÑA, JR. is the author of the Mickey Rangel Mystery series, including The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker / El misterio del malvado marcador (Piñata Books, 2013), The Lemon Tree Caper / La intriga del limonero (Piñata Books, 2011) and The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El caso de la pluma perdida (Piñata Books, 2009). His books for teens include A Good Long Way (Piñata Books, 2010), The Whole Sky Full of Stars (Random House, 2007) and The Jumping Tree (Delacorte, 2001). He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower/Middle Grade
Category: Intermediate Reader
ATOS English: 4.7
ATOS Spanish: 4.9
LEXILE Spansih: 710L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 134033