Truly Tan: Trapped! by Jen Storer
(Age: 9-11) Themes: Friendship; Mystery; Child detectives. Tan is
the youngest of four girls. Many girls would find this a difficult
burden, but Tan is forthright and intelligent and able to solve
mysteries. Her impressive powers of observation - seeing details
that others might miss, her special notebooks and her best friend
Gloria (a perpetual optimist) help her to rise above the dilemmas
that she faces. In this book she is needed to be on security detail
for a holidaying neighbour (the weed and water role is probably the
most important part of this detail) and she goes hunting for a
mysterious vehicle, a mysterious white flash (that may be a spirit
deva) and a mysterious 'gypsy'. Mystery at every turn! But will this
investigation lead her into danger? And who is the mystery person
who has infiltrated their secret Head Quarters? Added to this, we
hear about the arrival of an unwanted and surprising visitor and the
weird and wonderful personalities of her older sisters. Does Rose
really have the power of predicting the future? Will Tan really be
trapped in a web?
Even though there is a hint of 'mystical' in this series with some 'mildly spooky' moments, mostly it is just a story of inquisitive friends trying to make sense of their world. The curious girls also have to deal with parents' demands and chores, and their personal sense of importance in their family.
A book that 9-11 year old girls will connect with.