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Mystery on MacKinac Island


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About the Author

Anna W. Hale is a published author of children's books and young adult books. Some of the published credits of Anna W. Hale include Mystery on Mackinac Island, The Mayflower People: Triumphs and Tragedies.


Gr 4-6 --Hunter Martineau, a 13-year-old native American, is devastated when his beloved grandfather dies, and fears that he will have to leave the cabin they shared and live with his father and stepmother in the village. He sets out to solve the mystery of who is stealing rental bikes on Mackinac Island, the popular resort in northern Michigan where Hunter lives, hoping to support himself with the reward money. He is aided in his efforts by Rusty and Jancy, two tourist children who befriend him. Hale utilizes her setting effectively, giving young readers a feel for historic and atmospheric Mackinac Island, and she supplies plenty of action. Unfortunately, the characters are pure cardboard, and the plot is predictable. The identity of the thief is obvious from the outset. Jancy is a throwback to the days of old-fashioned, passive female sidekicks. When the danger reaches its peak, Hunter orders Rusty to ``stay to look after Jancy.'' Since all three children are roughly the same age, this command smacks of male chauvinism, and Jancy never protests. Hunter's father is portrayed as shiftless, although he does reform in the end. These flaws are counterbalanced, however, by the admiring portrayal of Hunter's late grandfather and Hale's obvious respect for native American culture. Pleasant, readable, but not memorable. --Ruth Sadasivan, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, OH

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