Review (Plus): Eddie Red Undercover

Bookshelf Blurb: Middle schooler Eddie Red has teamed up again with Detective Bovano to help capture the art thief, but this time the art thief is going to capture (or kidnap) Eddie!

EddieRedUndercover9780544582606_33a04America’s Review: Eddie Red is a kid who likes adventure when he has created it, but doesn’t enjoy the adventure when it finds him. Ever since his first mishap with crime, his photographic memory is now indispensable to the cops. When bombs start showing up around D.C. at prominent tourist attractions with the name ‘Eddie’ on them, it is time to re-enlist the help of Eddie Red Undercover in Doom at Grant’s Tomb by Marcia Wells.  

Eddie knows the money he earns helping the police department offsets his tuition at Senate Academy, but now that he has Paula, an FBI bodyguard, with him at all times he starts to question if this talent of his is as wonderful as he first believed. To make matters worse on the first day of 7th grade, Eddie discovers his new science teacher is none other than the detective himself. The amount of measures taken to ensure Eddie’s safety makes him realize it is a new level of crime he is undertaking.

Eddie wants a partnership with Detective Bovano and his unit, but he is finding they are limited with their supply of information. With the help of his best friend, Jonah, Eddie decides he must solve the case on his own leaving behind the FBI bodyguard and Detective Bovano. He concludes that if they aren’t willing to share information with him, why should he share his information with them? This seems like a great idea until someone gets hurt and with the name ‘Eddie’ attached to the bombs being, it may not be the wisest idea he has ever had.

Using his photographic memory, Eddie creates drawings of everything he sees. The illustrations, provided by Marcos Calo, allow the reader to experience the intimidation Eddie feels by seeing these ominous characters. Eddie is a smart and savvy kid who allows his knowledge to interfere with his better judgment of leaving well enough alone. This quality of Eddie’s–the one that tempts fate–is what draws me to this series. It is a wonderful recommendation for young boys who want to read a good mystery with adventure featuring a boy protagonist.

In the Classroom: This book offers a clean and clever boy protagonist who wants to blend in with everyone else although he can’t because he has a talent few possess. Eddie is a character who you could encounter in your 7th grade classroom–this book doesn’t offer fantasy and for some readers this is a strong pro in the Eddie Red reading recommendation. I don’t offer a Common Core element to this review. I offer a recommendation to your high level 2nd grade boys to the reluctant 8th grade reader–a wonderful boy read. There is math, science, mystery and mayhem in the Eddie Red series. I also offer this book as a wonderful ESOL/ESL read for both middle grades and young adults.

Eddie Red Undercover: Doom at Grant’s Tomb by Marcia Wells, illustrated by Marcos Calo (HMH Books for Young Readers | 9780544582606 | April 5, 2016)

America Grelinger

America Grelinger doesn’t mind if you call her Ms. America. It makes her head swell and she loves the title. America is a former English teacher and has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, now retired to raise two crazy little boys who think the funniest thing on the planet is to burp and toot… which is why she reads. Because it’s cheaper than counseling. Amy and her husband live with those two crazy little boys in Derby, Kansas.