Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kid Reading: The Mystery of Meerkat Hill Book Review

I saw this book in the kids section when I walked into the library but I had to grab it because I love the adult books that the author wrote so much that I thought that this would be no different.  Mystery of Meerkat Hill: A Precious Ramotswe Mystery for Young Readers by Alexander McCall Smith is a great chapter book to start reading to younger kids or for school age kids to read themselves (and of course for parents to read as an excuse because they love the author).  The nice thing is that there are pictures in the book so that lots of ages can see what the author is talking about as well as read about it.

Precious meets two new students at the school and talks to them at recess.  The sister and brother were glad to have someone to talk to because they were new and were a little shy.  Teb and Pontsho become friends with Precious and she walks home with them.  She gets a big surprise when she meets their pet, a meerkat named Kosi.  One day her friend's cow goes missing and Precious decides to investigate.  They follow the tracks out of the pen to a herd of cows.  They convince the men that one of those cows is theirs and if Kosi can find the cow in the herd, then they will be able to take the cow home.  The mystery of Meerkat Hill is a great story for all kids (and kids at heart).

There are 8 chapters which cover 90 pages (some which have pictures and less words).  After the book, there is an information guide with information about all of the geography and people of Botswana.  After that, there is a readers guide which gives information about the book, book talk, pre-reading activities, and discussion questions.  There is a page about curriculum connections and how the book works with geography, science and biology, language arts, and social studies.  At the end is a recipe for making your own fat cakes (homemade doughnuts they ate in the book).  It helps parents work with kids to learn even more beyond this book and it is a great guide for learning about Africa and meerkats. 

I hope that you pick up this book at your local library or bookstore and check it out for yourself or your kids.  I know that I enjoyed the easy to read story and was ready to check out Alexander McCall Smith's other children's books.  It is suggested for kids grade 2-5 so I am sure that many aged children (and adults) will like this new mystery by Alexander McCall Smith.  Let me know if you or your kids have already read and what you think!!  I read it quickly and enjoyed the fun "mystery."

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