Mickey Rangel, kid detective extraordinaire, has just exited the school bus one sweltering afternoon when he hears a blood-curdling shriek. It’s coming from the creepy neighbor lady’s house. Señorita Andrade, known as La Bruja Andrade to all the neighborhood kids, is as old as the moon, wrinkled like a prune, and smells like moth balls. But she’s in trouble, so Mickey forgoes the cool, refreshing glass of lemonade he planned to buy from Tina’s stand and instead goes to help the supposed witch.
“My lemons, Mickey, my prize-winning lemons. They’re gone. They’re all gone,” Señorita Andrade cries. The tree was covered with fruit just that morning, but Mickey can see that it’s true: there’s not one lemon on the tree. She is famous for her lemons. One of the reasons everyone thinks the woman is a witch is because she somehow manages to keep lemons on the tree year round. And for years she has won first prize in the annual Lemon Festival and Lowrider Bicycle Show. In the lemon category that is, not the bikes.
Who could have stolen several sacks full of lemons? Was it only a coincidence that Tina had set up a lemonade stand just down the street? With a bowl full of lemons sitting right out front?!? Or could it have been someone trying to sabotage Señorita Andrade’s entry in the upcoming festival dedicated to the savory fruit? “I’ll get to the bottom of this, ma’am. Mickey Rangel is on the case.”
In this second bilingual book in The Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator René Saldaña, Jr. has crafted another engaging book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.
AUTHOR CREDENTIALS: RENÉ SALDAÑA, JR. is the author of A Good Long Way (Piñata Books, 2010), The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El caso de la pluma perdida (Piñata Books, 2009), The Whole Sky Full of Stars (Random House, 2007), The Jumping Tree (Delacorte, 2001) and Finding Our Way: Stories (Random House, 2003). He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.
Praise for The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El caso de la pluma perdida:
“This bilingual chapter-book edition… will engage intermediate readers in both languages, English and Spanish, and offers multiple possibilities for school projects, group discussions and read-aloud sessions. Villarreal’s well-crafted translation into Spanish maintains the suspense and humor of the original English version, narrated by Mickey in fine, hard-boiled style.”
“A Spanish translation of the story is bound in with the English, making this a good choice for bilingual school and public library collections.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
“Lively and entertaining narrative coupled with attractive illustrations will make this book a favorite among young mystery readers.”—Críticas