What a fun book. The hamster is missing from the classroom so Smashie and her friend start investigating. Griffin’s depiction of Room 11, and her use of humor and complicated vocabulary layer the story beautifully. Parents will love reading this to their kids.
Who stole the hamster from Room 11? A once-happy class is set on edge in this humorous, highly relatable mystery perfect for middle-grade readers.
The day the hamster disappears from Smashie McPerter’s class begins like any other. Well, except for the fact that the teacher is out sick and Smashie’s class is stuck with Mr. Carper, the worst substitute in the world. And except for the mysterious business with the glue. And except for the fact that Smashie is wrestling with a terrible problem, which only partly stems from her extreme aversion to hamster feet. As the peaceable and productive days of Room 11 turn into paranoia-fueled chaos, as natural suspects produce natural alibis and motives remain unmotivated, Smashie and her best friend, Dontel, are forced to the limits of their parlor-room detecting to set things right.
About the Author
N. Griffin is the author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are, for which she was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Flying Start Authors of 2013. She received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives outside Boston.
Kate Hindley has illustrated many books for children, including Worst in Show by William Bee. She lives in Worcestershire, England.
Griffin writes a consistently smart book, layering subplots and red herrings on her central mystery and unapologetically using $20 vocabulary. She carefully provides context clues that will help her young middle-grade audience understand challenging words, introducing Smashie's discomfort at "the weight of [her classmates'] unjust censure" with the crystalline observation that they "were angrier at her than ever!" A singularly appealing group of kids populates this nifty mystery for readers ready for a challenge. —Kirkus Reviews
Griffin uses humor to tackle issues most children grapple with at some point, and Hindley’s loose b&w sketches play up the madcap energy at Rebecca Lee Crumpler Elementary School. Smashie’s ... positive energy and determination are impressive. Readers will be learning and laughing heartily as Smashie dons her “Investigator Suit” and uses “thinking power” to try to prove herself —Publishers Weekly
The story is well written and evenly paced, with great supporting characters to root both for and against. ... A gentle and humorous mystery for younger middle grade readers. —School Library Journal
Readers will have fun going with Smashie’s flow—her custom-made outfits (“Investigation Suit,” “Distracting-Adults-from-Messes Suit”), shaky logic (“A little soft creature should have little soft feet!”), wrongheaded accusations, and triumphant redemption. Black-and-white illustrations throughout display Smashie’s individuality and verve. —The Horn Book
N. Griffin's charming book, SMASHIE McPERTER AND THE MYSTERY OF ROOM 11, solidly combines a day in the life of a normal third grader with some kid-level, hard-boiled sleuthing. Accompanied by a collection of illustrations by Kate Hindley, this book balances itself as an adorable and wonderfully character-driven story. —KidsReads.com
This fine story of investigation and discovery is perfect for advanced elementary to middle school leisure readers. —Children's Bookwatch
Smashie is a unique and engaging heroine, and her relationship with the likable Dontel is credible and endearing. Plentiful humor in the colorful characterizations and amusing phraseology (“The children waved their outerwear like pitchforks”) make this an excellent readaloud selection as well.... Kids moving up from Cam Jansen will find Smashie an entertaining next step. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books