Walnut Street: Phantom Rider is the third book in the Botanic Hill Detectives series by Sherrill Joseph. I have reviewed the two previous books: Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets and Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse.
The quartet of teenaged detectives are on the hunt for a new case when they are invited to a friend’s ranch that is experiencing strange thefts and a possible ghostly cowboy. There is a link to the gold rush era as a potential land dispute with historical roots comes to light. Being a history fan this appealed to me as I know little about this era in the USA.
This series of books is aimed at children who are reasonably confident with their reading, aged 9-12. The language and content are suitable for this age range. Although there is tension and danger, there is no violence and the writing style is light and engaging. Many chapters have little mini cliffhangers making it tempting to keep on reading!
I continued to enjoy the banter between the teens. They have a lovely relationship with each other but also the adults they spend time with. I liked the multicultural element to the main characters and the inclusion of a character based on a genuine historical figure. There is an educational element to the book but it is subtle so children won’t spot it as they are immersed on the plot.
Walnut Street: Phantom Rider is an enjoyable children’s book that will also appeal to grown up mystery fans.
Welcome to book tour for Walnut Street: Phantom Rider by Sherrill Joseph. Read on for more info and a chance to enter a fantastic giveaway!
Walnut Street: Phantom Rider (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery)
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade (For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)
Objects of value have been disappearing from the Mayfield family’s rural California horse ranch. The Botanic Hill Detectives—Moki Kalani, Rani Kumar, and twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt—are hired to come for a week to investigate. Legend has it somewhere on the Mayfields’ forty-acre property is a long-lost gold mine. It was supposedly staked by thirteen-year-old Ben Mayfield’s five-time great-grandfather, “Papa” Mayfield, in 1875. Adding to the excitement, a nervous Ben reveals a frightening secret to the detectives. At the ranch, he alone has seen a threatening black-clad figure on horseback whom he calls the Phantom Rider. Who is this mysterious person? Is he responsible for the thefts? Where is the lost gold mine? And what’s going on in the nearby, snake-infested ghost town of Rainbow Flats? The four intrepid detectives aim to find out.
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About the Author
Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author. The author has peopled and themed her mysteries with characters after her own responsible, role-model students, of various abilities, disabilities, races, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that children need to find themselves and others unlike themselves in books if all are to become accepting, anti-racist world citizens. Her gift of lexical-gustatory synesthesia enables her to bring richer imagination to her writing. Sherrill is the recipient of two Gold Awards from Mom’s Choice Book Awards, two Gold Awards from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, three awards from Story Monsters Approved, and numerous other children’s book awards. She is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and Blackbird Writers. Watch for many more adventures with the Botanic Hill Detectives!
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