My Two Cents: This is a lovely little British book that has so many elements that appeal to kids--humor, puzzles, mysteries, magic, and even a very fun set of triplets. It's exciting and adventurous without being scary or threatening. My kids loved Stuart and his family and it certainly introduced them to fun new words and concepts. There's a bit of set-up in the first third (as there needs to be), but once the mystery got going, they were always begging for one more chapter.
Grade Level: 2-5
- Be like Stuart's dad and create your own crossword puzzle.
- Learn a little more about what life was like for people like Great Uncle Tony during the Battle of Britain.
- Stuart thinks "GRAVEST FLATE" must be an anagram. What words can you make by rearranging the letters in your name? (Try it on your own first, then plug the letters in here for a big list!)
- Go on a bird behavior scavenger hunt like the birdwatchers in the book.
More to Read:
- Another boy who is excellent at getting to the bottom things: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin
- Another book about a boy in Britain who has to solve a very big mystery: Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
- Another (more sentimental) book about unlocking family secrets: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
- Another book of miraculous mechanisms and a boy unlocking the secrets of his past: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik