The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker: A Mickey Rangel Mystery / El misterio del malvado marcador: Coleccion Mickey Rangel, Detective Privado
Features young Latino detective Mickey Rangel in the third book in the Mickey Rangel Mystery series.
by René Saldaña, Jr.
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
It’s Monday morning, and kid detective extraordinaire Mickey Rangel is on the hot seat. “You must be wondering why I’ve called you to my office,” said Mrs. Abrego, the school principal. And in fact, Mickey has been racking his brain and sweating bullets, trying to figure out what he has done to warrant being pulled out of homeroom. Could it have been the spitball fight with his twin brother Ricky on the bus? How could word have gotten to Mrs. A that quickly?
When she instead brings up the recent rash of graffiti on school grounds, Mickey is initially horrified that she might think he’s involved. But he quickly realizes why she has called him in: she needs his help! Mrs. A has heard that Mickey is a detective, and he confirms that he’s the “real deal,” with an online certificate to prove it. She wants him to unmask the Mischievous Marker, the person writing messages all over the school’s walls.
The culprit has left numerous clues in his postings mainly a pronounced lack of grammar and spelling skills and that, along with an anonymous message from a supposed eyewitness pointing the finger at Mickey’s life-long nemesis, Bucho, seem to make for an easy case to solve. But Bucho has denied the accusation and asked for Mickey’s help. So Mickey, flabbergasted but intrigued, is “on the case.”
In the third book in the Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. has once again crafted an appealing book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.
“Prose is peppy, and [the] 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
“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
“This series has the potential for a nice, long run.”—Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
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 Grades
Category: Intermediate Reader
ATOS English: 4.9
ATOS Spanish: 4.5
LEXILE SPANISH: 730L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 163966
Teaching Guide Here