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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In MJ Murray’s Detective Dylan and the Hunt for Home Plate, Dylan and Emily are amateur sleuths. Well, mostly Dylan, but his sister is always at his side ready to help. And it’s a good thing too because when the kids take on another mystery, this one involving the missing bases from the baseball field, they have to keep a keen eye on everyone in the park and what they’re doing. There are clues to follow, some discarded candy wrappings for one thing, and some mysterious children playing pirates. But will they be astute enough to solve the mystery before it’s too late to play their ball game?
MJ Murray’s early chapter book, Detective Dylan and the Hunt for Home Plate, is a great story to inspire youngsters to read. The plot follows Dylan and his sister, Emily, (as well as their dog, Theodore) as they venture to the local park to play baseball. The discovery of the missing bases starts the ball rolling (no pun intended) and the amateur sleuths are very intent on solving the mystery. The dialogue is used well to develop the characters and move the plot forward. The language is simple to encourage and help young readers improve their reading skills. The black-and-white drawings add an interesting dimension to the unfolding plot. The characters (and young readers) must use their skills at creative deduction to solve the mystery. Each step of the way, they discuss their findings and reason which way they should turn next. A fun and engaging read.