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Mystery of the Missing Luck
By author: Jacqueline Pearce   Illustrated by: Leanne Franson
Selling Points: "family, mystery, lucky cat statue, Maneki Neko"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: May/01/2011
Lexile Level: 550L
Pages: 64
Fiction Ages 7-9
Price:  $6.95
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Sara pushed open the bakery door. "Where is Maneki Neko?" she asked Obaachan. Obaachan was Sara's Japanese grandmother. She stood behind a long counter with a glass front. More buns and pastries were lined up behind the glass.

Usually Obaachan smiled broadly when Sara arrived. But this afternoon her round face was long and sad. "Gone," she said. "Maneki Neko is gone."

Sara loves her grandmother's bakery. It's a special place-not only because of its delicious Japanese buns and pastries. She enjoys spending time with her obaachan, her grandmother. But things aren't going well for the bakery. When the bakery's lucky cat statue goes missing, Sara wonders if the bakery's luck is gone for good. But then a mysterious cat appears in the backyard one night and inspires a plan. With the help of her friend, Jake, Sara just might find the statue and restore the bakery's lost luck.
BookLinx - January 30, 2012
"Filled with numerous illustrations to aid the new chapter book reader. The main characters are well drawn."
Canadian Teacher - January 1, 2012
"A wonderfully warm and clever book...The chapters are short and fast-paced. There is suspense or mystery with a hint of magic...The story is a great introduction to many facets of Japanese culture, and the pictures reinforce the sense of immersion. Well done!"
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - September 1, 2011
"[Has a] tightly focused plot, well supported by a manageable cast of characters...Will fit nicely into reading programs as well as offering newly independent readers [an] engaging option for first chapterbook reads."
Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON) - August 14, 2011
"This ready-for-chapter books story is great for the young reader. Using a Japanese icon as the subject of the mystery was an ingenious concept as it pulls a multicultural aspect into the storyline. The simple plot and the humorous conclusion are well written...Another great addition for the elementary library."
Resource Links - June 1, 2011
"Short chapters and nicely detailed pencil illustrations by Leanne Franson will definitely keep even reluctant readers turning pages. Recommended."
Booklist - May 1, 2011
"This beginning chapter book ably portrays the two main characters and the bond between them. In a nicely handled subplot, an actual cat makes mysterious appearances and eventually leads to the finding of Maneki Neko...The mystery's resolution is far more realistic than one usually finds in books for young children. Readers new to chapter books will find this paperback, with its many full-page drawings, a good place to start."


CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2012


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Echoes Levels

Key Features:
Lively stories
Entertaining characters
Age-appropriate plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading
Ideal for social responsibility programs

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Curriculum Connections
Guided Reading Levels
Accelerated Reader
Lexile levels

Paperbacks: $6.95
15 b&w illustrations
64 pages

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