Monday, November 15, 2021

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday # MMGM Book Review: The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler by Karen Pokras

Eleven-year-old Danny Wexler is growing up in a factory town during the late 1970s. His days are spent going to school, taking piano lessons, playing kickball, and hanging out with his friends. Danny has a Super-Secret Spy Notebook where he jots down mysteries he's trying to solve- like if his piano teacher is part tarantula. He's had a lot to add to his notebook recently, especially with all the reports of a white van approaching children in local towns. People are talking. Danny and his best friends, Frank and Nicholas, have a theory about the van and missing children. They know the Bermuda Triangle is involved. It has to be! They've read all about it in one of Frank's encyclopedias. Their investigation into the possible white van suspects leads them to theories about werewolves and aliens. Will they be able to solve the mystery of the white van? Is Danny's piano teacher part spider? Does the Bermuda Triangle have a role in what is happening? You'll have to try to piece together the clues with Danny to see how it all turns out!

I have read and enjoyed other books by Karen Pokras, so I was excited to get my hands on a brand new copy of The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and mysteries, so this was a winning combination for me. Danny and his friends may have been growing up in the 1970s, but they were still easy to relate to, and I loved Danny's Super-Secret Spy Notebook. I definitely know how important it is to keep track of clues. It's amazing what you can notice when you keep a list of the facts. I liked the way aliens and the Bermuda Triangle were explained. I asked my mom about the Bermuda Triangle, and she told me when she was growing up she worried about the disappearances there. I definitely need to learn more about that area. I felt sorry for Danny as he dealt with struggles with friends. It's never easy to have problems with our friends, and watching the way some people were treating him because of his religion was really sad. I'd recommend this book to kids in third grade and up who like mysteries, realistic fiction, and history woven together. I look forward to reading more books by Karen Pokras and hopefully Danny and friends will have another mystery to solve.

Has anyone else read The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler? Or have you read another book by Karen Pokras? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!
~L

For other MMGM posts, please visit Greg Pattridge's blog.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds like fun! Hugs, Valerie

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  2. I like historical fiction and mysteries too. This sounds like a story I'd like. Thanks for sharing t this week.

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  3. So glad you both like the book, too! :) It was a fun, zany, and heartfelt adventure with a richer layer of meaning to it. Plus, the 1970s are my period that I grew up in, too! Was a hoot to relive so many vintage references. Congrats again, Karen!

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  4. As a fellow keeper of a super-secret spy notebook (when I was 11-12) I know I'm going to have to read this book! Thanks for your wonderful review.

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  5. It does sound great. Thank you for featuring it.

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  6. Who wouldn't love a Super Secret Spy Book?😍 Hugs,RO

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  7. I've not read this one but your review has me placing it high on my future read list. Love stories set in the 70s and Danny sounds like a memorable character. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

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  8. What a fun book to read! Never thought to keep a spy book -- and I loved mysteries. I shudder when I hear about the 1970s as historical fiction -- I just graduated from college in 73' and it seems like yesterday. I was a newspaper reporter and I loved my work. :)

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  9. This sounds like a great read! I really need to read some more mysteries (since I love them!), and this one sounds quite exciting. I love the idea of Danny's spy notebook! Thanks so much for the great review, Lizzy! ;)

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  10. Thanks so much for reviewing The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler and thanks to everyone for the kind comments!

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  11. Many thanks for featuring this book, sounds good.

    All the best Jan

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  12. I have been hearing about this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will try to check it out.

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  13. Haven't read these but they sound like great reads.

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  14. This sounds like a really neat book! Thanks for telling us about it.

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