Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage

Catch up with budding detective Frankie Dupont in the third adventure that this young sleuth investigates and hopefully solves. In Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage, Frankie is holding the fort at the Dupont Detective Agency while Mum and Dad are off at an Awards Ceremony. His cousin Kat and friend Amy are desperately trying to get hold of him: something has happened at the Science Fair being held at (yep, you guessed it!) the by now notorious Enderby Manor. Can Frankie ever forget his first encounter there…? Amy’s brothers, the annoying twins Angus and Archie, inform Frankie that someone has stolen the robotic chip for their recycled robot in the Sustainable Science Fair. Sabotage! Someone sent an image of a note to Amy on her smartphone, using an app that makes the image disappear in seconds. The note said: “Dose of your own medicine.” There are big prizes up for grabs at the Science Fair, including a large cash grant for the winner in the adult scientist category. Who is trying to sabotage the Fair and why? Can Frankie get the answers in time to solve the mystery so that Inspector Cluesome isn’t called in to save the day – which of course he couldn’t do anyway!
This is a different kind of adventure for Frankie, one that calls more upon his detective skills and taxes his powers of perception and observation. In the words of the inimitable and most famous (Belgian, if you please!) detective Hercule Poirot, “It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within--not without.” Frankie must interview each junior contestant and also discreetly try to find out if they have hidden the robotic chip about their person. In the course of his investigations, it appears that Angus and Archie might deserve what they got since their efforts to put a spanner in the works of all their friends’ and fellow contestants’ science exhibits comes to light. I really enjoyed this more cerebral adventure that takes Frankie down a notch or two in his usual fast paced race through an investigation to a quieter more ‘thinking’ way of working on a problem. The various exhibits the young scientists have invented were absolutely amazing and I am sure will inspire budding inventors to create their own. Some pertinent moral and social behaviour messages make their appearance in the narrative so kids are left in no doubt as to what is right and what is wrong, but done in the nicest possible way so kids will absorb them. Another fun and intriguing adventure from author Julie Anne Grasso to entertain and educate kids!

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