HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Mystery at Monkey Run
Author: Frederic Martin
Illustrator: Ned Butterfield
Publisher: Weekly Reader Paperback Book Club, republished in 1970
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10-14
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Martin, Frederic. The Mystery at Monkey Run (Published in 1966 by Little Brown and Company, Boston, MA). Bunker Fedder, a teenage boy, lives with his parents and younger sister Mary in Shelby. His best friend is fellow teenager George Elman who lives with his parents and younger sister Marge also in Shelby. Enrico Nachelli, a seventeen year old exchange student from Colombia, South America, is staying with the Elmans. The two families are spending their summer vacations together at Monkey Run, a group of cottages on St. Baird Lake, about forty miles from Shelby. Their neighbors are Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Hale. Mr. Hale is a student at some college who is in the area to study bats from a nearby cave. Jeff Stone introduces himself as the assistant game warden. The guys meet another boy about their age, Coozey Castle, who lives with his family year round at Monkey Run.
Bunker sees a mysterious person swimming in and then running away from Monkey Run Cove. He also hears strange noises near the lake, like a car stopping and then starting up again in the middle of the night. The boys decide that there must be something in the cove that someone wants badly, so they begin searching and find a heavy black leather case. What is in it? How did it get there? Who is hunting for it and why? I have always enjoyed a good mystery. Coozey’s dad smokes a pipe, and a few common euphemisms (e.g., heck) are found. But this story is filled with excitement, adventure, and suspense that will easily hold the reader’s attention. Kirkus Review called it a “rickety little mystery.” I have no idea what that means. Author Frederic Martin also wrote The Mystery on Crabapple Hill (1965).