I absolutely truly loved Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Mother-Daughter Book Club author). Mystery has always been my favorite genre so this book has been on my list for a while.
At over six feet tall, 12 year old Truly has always stood out in a crowd and being the new girl in the small town of Pumpkin Falls certainly makes her feel even more awkward! Truly is the middle child of five and her family has always been close- until Black Monday. That's the day her father was injured in Afghanistan and lost his arm. His easy smile and good-natured personality disappeared, and lovable Truly would do anything to make him happy again. That includes not complaining when he moves Truly and her siblings to his teeny-tiny hometown to take over the family bookstore. At the Lovejoy's store, Truly finds a mysterious letter tucked inside a copy of Charlotte's Web that sends her and some new friends hunting for clues all over town. Who wrote the letter? Who was it for? Where will each clue lead the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes next?
I love that Truly is such a positive heroine. She is funny and likable and brings together a group of kids that all really need each other. Also, the town of Pumpkin Falls reminds me of Stars Hollow (for all the fans of Gilmore Girls). It's full of quirky characters like Mrs. Bellow the town busy-body and Mrs. Winchester who always happen to have a kitten or two in her coat pockets. This story makes me want to move to a quaint New England town and start my own charming bookstore on Main Street! Another refreshing thing about this story is that these tweens are rarely on their phones or using the internet. They work to solve the mystery by meeting in person and walking all over town. I almost forgot that this book takes place during modern time.
Perhaps my favorite part of this story, besides the mystery, is the many references to children's books (which makes sense as much of the story takes place in the bookstore). I'll be dusting off my copy of Owl Moon to read in the library this week!