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Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Review

Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Audacity is a spunky, adventurous girl stuck in a suffocatingly monotonous orphanage called Miss Maisie's School for Wayward Girls. Though she loves the company of the girls there, (well, all accept one), Audacity is sick and tired of the orphanage and wishes for an escape. So, when the perfect opportunity for a grand adventure knocks at the orphanage door, she's the first to open it. 

A plump, well-dressed man named Commodore Crutchfield asks her to go on a super secret mission, but he can’t reveal the details. That same night, she hops in his car and they drive off to Washington, D.C. She cannot imagine a better journey as they eat at expensive restaurants, sleep at posh hotels and shop for a whole new wardrobe.  However, once in D.C., she realizes that the Commodore isn't who he seems to be.  She discovers that an evil plot is brewing and the President of the United States may be at risk.  All alone in a new city, Audacity tries to find her way before things take a turn for the worst.

Author Kirby Larson wrote an adventure perfect for middle-grade readers.  Her writing reminds me of Pseudonymous Bosch.

Author Kirby Larson wrote an adventure perfect for middle-grade readers.  Her writing reminds me of Pseudonymous Bosch, the pen name of the author of The Secret Series books that I used to read when I was in middle school. Both authors write about a child taking on a dangerous mission much bigger than themselves and clues found in unusual spaces.  Like Bosch, Larson does a fantastic job describing the world from a child's point of view, and her protagonist uses this perspective as a tool to solve the case. 

That said, not all of Larson's plot points are resolved clearly. In one side story, girls who left one place mysteriously came back and greeted Audacity in a completely different place without an explanation. It was a big enough problem to make me wonder about it for the duration of the novel. 

One thing that made AUDACITY JONES TO THE RESCUE unique was that it was that much of the story was based on historical events.  For example, former President Taft did love Terrapin Soup and automobiles, and his wife did suffer from health-related issues.  I love books with a little truth to them, and these facts gave this novel the spark that it needed. 

If you're an 8-11 year old girl or boy who loves The Secret Series or adventure books in general, this is a book for you.

Reviewed by Maya Berman on January 27, 2016

Audacity Jones to the Rescue
by Kirby Larson

  • Publication Date: December 27, 2016
  • Genres: Adventure, Children's 8-12, Mystery
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0545840600
  • ISBN-13: 9780545840606