The Mysterious Phone Call

A Mud Street Misfits Adventure

Children - Adventure
216 Pages
Reviewed on 12/29/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Mysterious Phone Call by Brian O’Dell and Beth Lauderdale is book 2 in the Mud Street Misfits Adventure series. Sarah has to move with her family to Chicago but she doesn’t want to leave Ozark. She’s lived there for years and, together with her brother David, and best friends Molly, Connor, and Liam, formed the Mud Street Misfits. She doesn’t want to leave the gang behind but she’s always been shy when it comes to speaking up – this time will be no different. Before she leaves, she discovers that Mayor Scott, a man with no heart, is set on destroying the Orpheum Theater, a beautiful Ozark relic, and she can’t let that happen. With the Mud Street Misfits, Sarah has a fight on her hands to save the building but things aren’t all that they seem to be and the Orpheum Theater is hiding a secret that can't be seen by the human eye. Can the gang save the theater and what will they have to face to do it?

The Mysterious Phone Call: A Mud Street Misfits Adventure by Brian O’Dell and Beth Lauderdale is a fun read, ideally suited to its target audience. I didn’t read the first book but each in the series is based on one member of the gang. This time it’s Sarah and, together with the other characters, she has been well developed into a character you can relate to. This is a cool and fun adventure with a hint of the other-worldly in a plot that keeps you reading all the way through. The story is really well written with lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing and some very unique characters. Great book; this is a series to watch out for.

Liz Konkel

The Mysterious Phone Call by Brian O’Dell and Beth Lauderdale is a Mud Street Misfits Adventure. Sarah and her friends are back with a new mystery to solve that will prove to be personal for their Misfits Club. Sarah has found her place here and can’t imagine being anywhere else, but her mom has a new job and her family is set to move. As if this news wasn’t bad enough, she discovers the Orpheum Theater is being torn down under the mayor’s orders. If she must leave, then she’s determined to save the theater first, so she and her brother turn to their friends to devise a plan that will prevent the mayor’s orders and hopefully halt their moving.

Sarah goes through an emotional roller coaster as she faces moving. This creates some conflict and tension in their family as their moms think they’re doing what’s best for the family, but Sarah and her brother don’t agree. The move is a driving point for Sarah because she’s about to leave everything she loves behind and so she throws herself into saving the theater. The fight for the theater represents an emotional connection, not just for Sarah but for each of the kids and to the town with Brian O’Dell and Beth Lauderdale using it to explore the role a historical building plays in a community and to each family within that community. Sarah and her friends are a group of kids reminiscent of the best mischievous little sleuths from well-known books such as The Hardy Boys. The Misfits Club has several sleuthing moments throughout that include breaking into the theater and sneaking around their parents.

Friendship is an important aspect of the club as they’re a constant source of support to each other and work together to save something they all love. This O’Dell and Lauderdale use to promote getting involved in a community and not sweeping the past under the rug to be forgotten. The Mysterious Phone Call has a warm and endearing message about preservation at the root of a delightful mystery that centers on a group of kids that each have their own personality and role to play in the progression of the mystery. O’Dell and Lauderdale perfectly capture the mindset and innocent wonder from the viewpoint of children and their thought process with a mystery that will be a delight to read for all ages. The Mysterious Phone Call is a fun mystery that delves into the preservation of historical buildings, the history of a community, and the importance of the past.

Rabia Tanveer

The Mysterious Phone Call by Brian O'Dell and Beth Lauderdale is the second novel in the Mud Street Misfits Adventure series. The story continues of the five best friends as they try to tackle a new mystery and find something new to save. The Mud Street Misfits were happy with things as they were; they were enjoying the time they spent with each other and nothing could bring them down. However, when Sara and David’s mother received a job offer in Chicago, Sarah knew that her time with her friends was limited. She really doesn’t want to leave her friends behind, but she has no other option. She is desperate to find any way that will encourage her mother to stay. So when she finds out that the mayor of their little town is going to demolish their beloved Orpheum Theater, she knows she has to do something about it. Can she and the Mud Street Misfits save the beloved theater or is it already too late?

This is such an encouraging and engaging novel. I remember being engrossed in such stories when I was young and I believe that the younger audience will love this. The Mud Street Misfits are perfect characters for a story like this. They teach encouragement, loyalty, love, and confidence. I enjoyed the dynamic between these friends; they treated each other carefully and equally. Everyone’s opinion was important; everyone had a responsibility and a part to play. These are intelligent children; they know what they need to do and how they need to do it. The best part is they believe in working together and they thrive on it. This is such a great lesson to teach youngsters and the author has done it in a delightfully entertaining way.