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Mystery of the Missing Monkey by Adam…
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Mystery of the Missing Monkey

by Adam Maxwell

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This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways and has been cross-posted on Smashwords.

The Lost Bookshop: Mystery of the Missing Monkey is the cute but forgettable story of three kids who find themselves transported to a circus in need of CSIs—Circus Special Investigators. Adventurous Nina, shy Ivy, and nerdy Oswald must foil a plot to ruin the circus. They learn to embrace their special talents and overcome their differences, and they make some new friends.

The three friends access the circus by entering a special room in The Lost Bookshop, a magical bookstore run by Nina's eccentric, curmudgeonly Uncle Bill and kind, knowing Aunty Ann. In here, the tomes are alive and you can read yourself into the action. Her uncle worries: "Aren't you a little young for adventure stories? A girl could get hurt falling from great heights" (7). But, of course, he aids and abets Nina at every turn. The Lost Bookshop is about the love of adventure reading inspires in us. Maxwell describes the bookshop—full of twisty passages and hidden rooms and stuffed to the gills with wonderful books—in vivid terms.

The circus is portrayed less vividly, and there's a problem. The circus animals have personalities drawn from real world traits: A lion is loud; a cheetah is fast. The animals also are literate and smart. Yet the monkeys are portrayed as silly scatterbrains who have trouble with vocabulary words, can't read well, and are easily preoccupied. They veer into vaudeville-era stereotypes in their actions and speech. The author also portrays the bearded lady in a transphobic way. There's no excuse for such stereotyping.

(Disclaimer: This review is based on a free copy of the e-book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation was received, and my review was not influenced by the free copy. All opinions expressed in the review are mine alone.)

NB: This review originally was entered on LT on 1/20/15 and was reentered, without edits, on 8/20/16. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | Aug 20, 2016 |
The Lost Bookshop - The Mystery of the Missing Monkey was a fabulous read! This book is so well-written that I felt like I was running through the stacks of books with Nina and Ivy. I could smell the old books as they darted in and out of rooms and hallways filled with them. Following Nina, Ivy, and Oswald through their magical adventure was a real treat.

My little one and I thought we had figured out the Mystery of the Missing Monkey but it kept us guessing until the very end! She loved the circus characters, especially Sadie the Bearded Lady! I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves magical adventures. This is a great read for children! ( )
  EllaDrayton | Nov 13, 2014 |
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"When she's not at school, Nina likes to help out at the bookshop owned by her Aunty and Uncle. When Uncle Bill finds a hidden room behind a dusty bookshelf in a forgotten corner of the shop, Nina knows she must investigate. And so with the help of her best friend Ivy, and a bespectacled boy named Oswald she unlocks the door and they step inside. Suddenly everything starts spinning and the room goes dark. When the children open their eyes they find themselves transported to a tent backstage at Cornelius' Circus Spectacular. All is not well in the big top and Nina, Ivy and Oswald are soon caught up in an adventure the likes of which they had never dreamed...the mystery of the missing monkey" --Cover p. [4].… (more)

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