HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Case Of The Missing Birthday Party
Author: Joanne Rocklin
Illustrator: John Speirs
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 1997
ISBN-13: 978-0613003131 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0613003136 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0590673594 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0590673599 (Paperback)
Related website: http://www.joannerocklin.com (author)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 – 8
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Rocklin, Joanne. The Case Of The Missing Birthday Party (published in 1997 by Scholastic Inc.). We checked this Hello Math Hello Reader! Math Level 4 paperback book out of the library when our older son Mark was in second grade to help him in developing critical thinking skills in math. Pauline is all dressed up and ready to attend a birthday party but is distraught to find that her pet hamster has chewed up the invitation, leaving the number 5 as the only clue to where the party is taking place. She and her friend Liz the Whiz utilize deductive reasoning and persist until they locate the proper house which has a 5 in the address and find the birthday celebration.
According to the introduction, stories like this are designed to make math ideas “accessible, interesting, and fun.” The cartoon illustrations by John Speirs are bright and appealing. The math activities by Marilyn Burns on the final pages reinforce the math concept used in the tale, which is place value. Author Joanne Rocklin, a former elementary school teacher whose latest middle grade novel, The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, was recently reviewed on Home School Book Review, has written many other books, including How Much is That Guinea Pig in the Window? and The Case of the Backyard Treasure, which are also Hello Math Readers.