THE AMELIA SIX
by Kristin L. Gray
Paula Wiseman Books
Middle Grade Mystery
ages 9 to 12
Amelia Earhart’s famous aviator goggles go missing and eleven-year-old Millie has to find them before the night is over in this girl-powered middle grade whodunit.
Eleven-year-old Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any, that is)—doesn’t realize just how much adventure awaits her when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to spend the night in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home with five other girls. Make that five strangers. But Millie’s mom is a pilot like the famous Amelia, and Millie would love to have something to write to her about…if only she had her address.
Once at Amelia’s house in Atchison, Kansas, Millie stumbles upon a display of Amelia’s famous flight goggles. She can’t believe her good luck, since they’re about to be relocated to a fancy museum in Washington, DC. But her luck changes quickly when the goggles disappear, and Millie was the last to see them. Soon, fingers are pointing in all directions, and someone falls strangely ill. Suddenly, a fun night of scavenger hunts and sweets takes a nosedive and the girls aren’t sure who to trust. With a blizzard raging outside and a house full of suspects, the girls have no choice but to band together. It’s up to the Amelia Six to find the culprit and return the goggles to their rightful place. Or the next body to collapse could be one of theirs.
Eleven-year-old Millie gets the chance of a lifetime—to spend the night with five other girls in her idol's childhood home. Excited and a little nervous, she meets the other girls, each who have their very own distinct personalities. While it'd be nice to make friends, Millie can't wait to see items which belonged to Amelia Earhart. But the thrill soon turns to frustration and suspicion as the original goggles go missing. A blizzard rages outside, making sure the thief can't leave. Now, the girls need to band together and discover who it is before worse things happen.
From the very first page, I knew I was going to like this read. Millie hits with pure original spunk in a quirky situation with her father. She's easy to relate to and a fun character to join up with, even if her interests hit a direction readers might not really know much about, Amelia Earhart. But this book melds the tidbits of history and information smoothly into the mystery, allowing young readers to learn some facts along the way.
I enjoyed the writing style quite a bit. It keeps a hint of humor, spunk and personality, while still allowing the tension needed to build a nice mystery. The clues are well placed, and it's not always clear where things will lead. As the story progresses, so does the dark threat, but at a level even more sensitive readers will feel comfortable with. I was afraid that having six characters might grow a bit confusing, but the author does a good job at keeping their personalities different enough to make it easy to recognize each one right away. I love the different quirks each one has and the way they add to the story. It makes for an easy read, which flies by at a pretty good pace.
To keep history close, the author offers a list of literature at the end of the book, in which readers can find more information. There's also a lean toward STEM, making this a nice read for homeschoolers or classrooms. Add the desire for fun and adventure along with a little girl power, and it's a read middle graders are sure to enjoy.
And here she is...
Kristin L. Gray is the author of Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge (which Publishers Weekly called 'sensitive and uplifting coming-of-age journey') and The Amelia Six. Kristin loves to read, walk her dogs, and eat cake for breakfast. Her fourth-grade self would never believe she has five children, two dogs, one fish, a bearded dragon, and a shy gecko. She lives in northwest ARkansas. To learn more about Kristen or to send her a cake, visit her online at KristinLGray.com.