HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Onion Sundaes
Author: David A. Adler
Illustrator: Heather Harms Maione
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, 1994
ISBN-13: 978-0679946977 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0679946977 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0679846970 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0679846972 (Paperback)
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 7 – 9
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Adler, David A. Onion Sundaes (published in 1994 by Random House Books for Young Readers). In this first Houdini Club Magic Mystery, Herman “Houdini” Foster–magician, near-genius, ten-year-old kid– loves to do magic tricks. He has formed a club with his cousin Janet Perry – the narrator – and other friends. At their next meeting, Houdini plans to perform his Onion Sundae Trick, in which he switches an onion for a jar of chocolate sauce, but first he must get the ingredients. When he and Janet arrive at the grocery store, they overhear a woman say that her money has been stolen. They hear the same complaint from other customers. A crime wave has hit the Super Big ‘N’ Super Friendly Supermarket, and it’s up to Houdini and Janet to stop it.
Houdini deduces that the burglar must be “borrowing” unattended carts, wheeling them to another aisle, and removing money from purses. Despite admonitions from the security guard, the young sleuths set out to find the culprit. But can they solve the case of the shopping cart crook before their ice cream melts? Here is another mini-mystery series from the author of the Cam Jansen and the Fourth Floor Twins books. Short chapters, large print, and frequent sketches that break up the text make this an inviting first chapter book for readers who like quick mysteries. Directions for performing the Onion Sundae Trick are included for aspiring magicians. Another book in the Houdini Club series, Wacky Jacks, has been previously reviewed on Home School Book Review.