I have been reading a number of outstanding middle grade mysteries by women authors lately. They are ideal for kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, etc. who love great books. (They’re also pretty good for adults secure enough in their own maturity.) I’ve wanted to blog about some of them, but these books are so good that I don’t want to give anything away about any of them. So I was at an impasse. That was when I realized that I could both make it clear that I recommend in the strongest terms the books that I review, and I could also just make stuff up about these books and pretend that it was in the novel. I would reveal nothing, and, when you actually read the book, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better it is than my one hundred percent fake book reports. So here goes nothing. The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby has the distinction of being an outstanding novel and the “subject” of my first completely fake book report.
The Shadow Cipher unfolds against the backdrop of the golds, bright oranges, and fire reds of autumn in a small Midwestern town. Three kids, Maevis, Buzzy, and Cletus, go to the local Puzzle Parlor Ice Cream Shop. They try to order their favorite flavor, Apple Cipher. That’s when they find out that there is an apple cider shortage and that the Puzzle Parlor Ice Cream Shop won’t have the Apple Cipher flavor for at least the rest of the year. Maevis, Buzzy, and Cletus are confused. They were just at the local apple orchard, and there were a lot of apples. So they start to investigate. Their investigations take them through a series of back alleys, dodgy go betweens, and from coast to coast across America. They find that this shadowy apple flavored conspiracy goes all the way to the top. All the way to a president who can press a button and get apple cider flavored ice cream anytime he wants! In conclusion, The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby is a great book and everyone should read it.