Ethan and Matt take on their first client, Lisa, in their newly set up detective agency Project Adventure. They come up with a daring plan to find out why the animals at the “Skywalk Zoo” suddenly became aggressive, scaring visitors away. Facing some chilling truths, will they find out who’s behind it?
Join Ethan, Matt and Lisa on their adventures as they take on unsolved mysteries, confront villains and end up with more than they bargained for!
Always seeking out adventure, Ethan is an energetic and fun-loving 12-year old. His ‘let’s-give-it-a-go’ attitude leads him into situations where he has to think on his feet and always be ready for action, while avoiding getting grounded by his parents! Brave, and sometimes even reckless, he’s at his best with his best friend Matt around. Luckily, Matt is his neighbour, so always there to join in and solve mysteries through their kids detective agency - Project Adventure.
Impulsive and emotional, Ethan has lots of imagination and is a quick thinker. He’s also a bit of a talker and likes to tease and joke around with Matt, but always with a lot of respect. Neither of them like bullies and will stand their ground against them.
Matt’s just a few weeks older than Ethan and his best friend. Although they couldn’t be more different. Curious, book smart and calm, he always comes up with a solution when they’re in trouble, which happens regularly. It was his idea to start the kids detective agency, but like with most of his ideas, he needs Ethan’s enthusiasm to get him going.
Where Ethan likes to talk a lot, Matt prefers to stay quiet and observe, noticing the important details. He thinks that shrugs are a perfectly acceptable way of communicating, which is fine by Ethan as they understand each other without even saying a word.
Lisa doesn’t have many friends because she really prefers animals. Well, maybe Matt is the exception... This makes her a bit awkward and shy when she meets new people, but she soon gets over it. She’s smart and kind, quickly understands complicated situations and thinks ahead. Her trademark is the big safari hat she always wears, which was a gift from her dad before he died.
When she’s not volunteering and spending time with the animals at her mom’s Zoo, she likes to read books and solve mysteries with Ethan and Matt.
...The twist towards the end was something that I did not expect and it actually caught me off guard. It was one of those ‘Holy Cow’ moments that stopped me in my tracks. It did take a while for the sudden turn of events to sink in, but then I realized that it was something ingenious. That twist alone sets the book apart from the other books of this genre.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and it took me just an hour to finish it. Not bad for a debut.
Like Matt and Ethan, I’m now on the lookout for the second Project Adventure.
…Using simple and direct language, with a sharp sense of humour that engages the young reader, the story flows with a very good rhythm and is hard to put the book down.
Lisa, Matt and Ethan (the narrator) have to face dangerous people with greedy interests, wild animals and their own fears to solve the mystery and ensure the Zoo is safe.
Characters are well developed. Perfect for individual reading, or for caregivers/teachers to read a chapter or two at a time, creating more suspense and engaging the young readers.
At the end the mystery is solved, new friendships are made and the reader gets the feeling another adventure is on the way! A good book for children to find pleasure in reading.
Recommend for 7 years and up.
As the mother of three middle-grade-aged children, I am always on the lookout for books that will appeal to these reluctant readers.
My family is very sports-focused as well, so when I saw a book based at a basketball camp, I knew that this was one I needed to check out. And I’m very glad that I did.
This is the first book that I’ve read by David Konrad and it will not be the last. With likeable characters and an interesting plot, middle-grade readers (and even their parents) will enjoy The Courtside Mystery.