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Fiction Ages 8-14
Pages: 176
Themes: environment, fossils, mystery
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Pub Date: 01/10/2010
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Thirteen-year-old Grace already has too much going on—grieving over her father's mysterious death, dealing with her distraught mother's erratic parenting, and evading her creepy nosy neighbor, Mr. Stuckless, just for starters. She and her friends Fred, Mai and Jeeter like to get away from it all by hunting for fossils near their secret hideaway, the abandoned mine they've nicknamed The Black Hole. But when Grace receives a strange note regarding her father's disappearance, it sets off a chain of events that sees Grace and her friends turning into detectives to solve the mystery behind his suspicious disappearance. As the clues and suspects start piling up and the investigation becomes more and more dangerous, Grace and her friends find themselves racing against time through treacherous sinkholes and abandoned mine shafts to figure out what really happened to her father.

Parents in Touch - December 11, 2011
"The setting is credible, the characters believable and the background of fossil hunting accurate. It's an exciting and fast-moving story that will appeal to lovers of the traditional adventure story."
Escape Through the Pages blog - September 24, 2011
"A genuine, well-told mystery that I wouldn't hesitate to place in the hands of anyone (even mature middle grade readers), no matter their age."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2011
"Jo Ann Yhard has written a page-turner akin to Nancy Drew...Yhard excels at providing enough information to allow the reader to follow the clues and solve the crime. Nothing is too far-fetched nor too obvious as the suspense builds to a satisfying resolution. Recommended."
Resource Links - October 1, 2010
"[Jo Ann Yhard] writes a mystery that enhances her readers' critical thinking skills as they try to unravel the mystery...Informative and current...Students interested in environmental science and fossils will find the book to be intriguing."
CM Magazine - June 25, 2010
"Yhard weaves a tale brimming with suspense...A group of diverse and interesting characters...are what propel the story forward. Their unwavering determination to help Grace in her pursuit for the truth is admired by the reader. Recommended."

Awards

Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2010 | Commended
CCBC Best Books  | 2011 | Commended

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