Lark Has the Shivers
Lark Has the Shivers
This was exciting and scary. Connor and I had two cases in one day, which was exciting. But we were also working by ourselves, which was scary. My heart thumped in my chest. I hoped I could help Mr. Ian. The pet show had been held at the park every year since Connor and I were babies. There was an agleity, ajillety, agility course, a costume contest and the talent show.
Lark wakes up early to practice the math trick she and Connor have been teaching their dog Max for the pet show. Halmoni, Korean for ‘grandmother’, notices an email for the twins on her computer. It’s a request from a classmate, Sophie, to come to her house concerning a mysterious case. On the way, they meet Mr. Ian, the head judge of the pet show, who is very upset. Because the siblings have solved several cases that summer, Mr. Ian wants them to find two pets that are missing. So Lark sets out to find a missing dog and a missing ferret and deal with their upset owners who are accusing each other of hiding their pet. Connor heads off to find out more about Sophie’s house being haunted. Will they be able to solve both cases without working together and do it in time before the pet show begins?
Author Natasha Deen once again provides an exciting and amusing story for her readers. Lark Has the Shivers is the fifth book in the “Orca Echoes” Lark Ba Detective series featuring eight-year-old twin private investigators Lark and Connor Ba. Missing, possibly stolen, pets and a ghost haunting provide a perfect combination of intertwining mysteries. Along with this entertaining pair of detectives, readers are challenged to unravel the cleverly planted clues and solve the case
The personal flavour of the narration in Lark Has the Shivers highlights the personalities of the characters, particularly Lark’s. The inclusion of her crossed out spelling attempts, how she deals with her dyslexia and her fascination with words creates a realistic and funny character. The short chapters and clear, well-spaced text are interspersed with amusing black and white illustrations by Marcus Cutler. The section at the end of the book, “The Words Lark Loves”, explains some of the words and idioms readers might find puzzling.
As in the other books in this original series, Lark Has the Shivers features a culturally diverse family, Korean and Kenyan. The inclusion of the themes of problem solving steps, working cooperatively, persevering and being aware of another person’s feelings provides relevant topics for discussion. Emergent readers will enjoy this engaging early chapter book.
Janice Foster is a retired teacher and teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.