Ponti, James Framed (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery#1) 292 pgs. Aladdin (Simon), 2016. $16.99 Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G Violence: G
Florian is a 12 year old with an eye for detail. He use’s that skill, which he calls T.O.A.S.T., to read people and situations in much the same way that Sherlock Holmes is known for. When he moves to a Washington D.C. he is lucky enough to make a friend right away, Margaret. When he starts to teach her his method, the Theory of All Small Things, they find themselves in the midst of an art theft case. Florian’s success catches the attention of the FBI who recruit him. Now he is balancing school and crime solving, but when he takes some risks, he may find himself in more danger than he can handle.
Disclaimer: James Ponti is one of my favorite authors and his series Dead City is beloved at my school. Big Surprise, I LOVED this book! The characters are memorable and the mystery feels authentic. I couldn’t put this book down! It’s an appealing mystery for student readers as it has a fast paced plot and danger. I like it for students because it encourages them to think outside of the box and value friendship. Why have I not rated this book as Essential? The cover is (sorry James) completely unappealing and dated looking. The only way I am going to get students to check out this book is by showing them Dead City and pointing to his name on both covers! Maybe I will design my own cover and re-cover it!
EL –ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.