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Kid Konnection: Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives

November 6, 2010

Michele Torrey has written a series of books featuring science detectives Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey.  There are currently six books in the series, but each book stands alone.  The series is aimed at ages 7 to 11 and includes fun illustrations by Barbara Johansen Newman.   Drake and Nell use science to help others solve mysteries.  The characters were oddly formal in the stories and I felt like some of the information presented was a little advanced for the targeted audience.  I found a few of the mysteries to be a little cheesy, but that’s okay, because the best part of these books is the information that follows the mysteries – that’s where you’ll find information on creating a lab, using the scientific method and duplicating the experiments in the book.

In The Case of the Crooked Carnival, Nell and Drake are called to solve these cases:

  • Edgar Glum is hearing ghosts and ghouls at night.  This case explores sound amplification.
  • Nell discovers fast growing plants that threaten to take over the swamp.  Ecosystems are explored with this mystery.
  • One of the games at the carnival is fixed and it’s up to Nell and Drake to figure out how.  Magnets are involved in this case.
  • It’s windy on the day of the town’s big parade and Nell and Drake keep everyone off of the bridge because it’s going to collapse.  This mystery explores resonance.

Drake and Nell solve these mysteries in The Case of the Terrible T. rex:

  • Wiley and his dad are camping and Wiley hears something howling – he suspects werewolves.  Nell and Drake suspect a volcano and the experiment involves density of air molecules.
  • Mary Elizabeth has a picnic planned by the river and discovers the riverbank loaded with dead fish.  Pollution is discussed and the scientists test pH levels.
  • Nell and Drake attend the Paleo Pals Club contest for the best fossil and discover a fraud.  Readers learn about digging for fossils in this one.
  • Rosa’s oven is acting strange – not only are her cakes not baking, but the oven is talking to her.  She calls the detectives in and they explore Morse code and radio waves.

Budding young scientists should enjoy the mysteries and the experiments in these books, but adults should be prepared to help them with a few of the experiments.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

The Case of the Terrible T. rex provided by Blue Slip Media.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2010 7:35 am

    Hmm, I wonder if my sister would welcome the extra projects following the mysteries. It sounds like a series my nephew would like.

  2. November 6, 2010 8:23 am

    I really like the idea of the information that follows the stories. And the illustrations look really cute, too.

  3. November 6, 2010 11:00 am

    I like the idea of these books. We have a few of them. I’ll need to check them out.

  4. November 6, 2010 11:12 am

    This sounds like a great idea for a series of kids books. Entertain and educate them at the same time… Smart author!

    It’s awesome that you highlight children’s books on Saturday, Kathy!
    ~ Amy

  5. November 6, 2010 12:52 pm

    I would have loved these when I was a kid!

  6. November 6, 2010 2:13 pm

    My kids loved mysteries when they were little. Jigsaw Jones and Encyclopedia Brown were big hits. I kind of wish they were still little, these would have been right up their ally.

  7. November 6, 2010 5:27 pm

    In a few years, I’m sure these titles will be of interest. My daughter loves mysteries already and science, too.

  8. November 6, 2010 7:16 pm

    those look pretty fun!

  9. November 7, 2010 12:35 pm

    I was terrible at science but I loved labs. Will keep these in mind when I go to Indigo next with the boys.

  10. November 7, 2010 6:22 pm

    This book looks like it would be a lot of fun for those kids who enjoy a little real life science in their books. I bet my son would get a kick out of them, even if he is not in the intended age range. Thanks for the review on these books, I will be looking for them!

  11. November 7, 2010 10:02 pm

    We have this series on our list of books to read. I’m pretty sure my 7-year-old will like them.

  12. November 8, 2010 9:40 pm

    I like that it’s informative. That’s always good.

  13. November 10, 2010 7:27 pm

    These look so cool! I know Bebe Boy James wouldn’t mind seeing THESE in his Christmas book box! Thanks for the review!

  14. November 19, 2010 9:42 am

    On one hand, I’m thinking The Girl would enjoy these as she love science and mysteries. On the other hand, I’m thinking she might find them a bit cheesy, too.

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