I’ve been meaning to catch up on some reviewing backlog, because the to-be-reviewed pile doesn’t seem to be going down. I was saving some books for thematic reviews but the stacks have been driving me crazy, and I’m way off my target for this year, hence I’ve decided to write some flash reviews for the quick reads.
Here’s how it works: I give a summary of the book, my take on it, plus a rating.
I just finished reading a 3-in-1 Three Investigators book containing The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints, The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon and The Mystery of the Singing Serpent (books 86-88 of 2009)
Before I even started reading Nancy Drew, I was hooked on the The Three Investigators series, because it was my older sister’s (Tattie’s) favorite series when she was in grade school and she always talked about it.
As soon as I had access to the bigger library (4th grade), I found a whole shelf of the books and I didn’t even have any competition – nobody was checking them out! Nobody my age had even heard about them – the last borrowers were a good five years or so back – and so I was able to read them in order.
I was hooked, and I ended up checking out two or three of them at a time (three was the maximum number we could check out at one time at the library, and I was one of the few girls who were pushing the limit and filling up back to back blue borrower’s cards).
In fact, I ended up reading so many them that my mom had to curtail my reading time to half an hour a night (depending on her mood) and only after I did my homework (and then eventually I was limited to reading ONLY during the weekends; I had a reading ban on weeknights while the rest of my siblings got TV ban and I couldn’t have cared less about the TV). This is, I think, the reason I learned to read fast (and read on a moving vehicle on the way to and from school), to maximize reading time.
This is a book that I remember seeing a lot when I was in Grade School at the LRC, but I don’t know why I never got around to reading it. Maybe it’s because of the long title, haha, or maybe it’s because the cover isn’t appealing to kids.
Most people have probably had dreams of running away (if they didn’t actually run away) as they were growing up. Haha, I remember I used to plan my escape when my siblings ganged up on me, or when I got scolded (except I couldn’t stand the thought of roaming around on the streets in rags, with matching gunky hair and kariton). I think this is why I liked this book so much, because it’s a story about two kids who run away and actually succeed at it.
The book has a Home Alone quality to it, except that they’re at a museum and there are no bad guys, but they do have a mystery to solve.
I loved that of all places that Claudia and Jamie could run away to, it was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art… Now if only we had a museum like that, maybe I’d have run away a long time ago. Haha, Jamie reminded me a lot like my brother, because he was the money shark and like Claudia, I used to be the brains that thought up ways of getting us into trouble when we were kids (uh, like the brilliant idea to polish the parquet with baby powder! boy, did we get punished for that!).
The characters are endearing, and I love that the book shows how smart kids can be, in a way adults would never expect.
There’s an old movie version (1973), with Ingrid Bergman as Mrs. Frankweiler, and a 1995 TV movie with Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Frankweiler. I wonder if I’ll ever get to watch those; I think the book makes for a really fun movie.
My copy: mass market paperback, wanting to be upgraded haha