Review by Beverly Slapin
Reviewed Source: DeColores Reviews
Book Author: René Saldaña Jr.
Mickey Rangel is the real deal, a smart, wise cracking fifth-grader; an honest-to-goodness detective with an identification card in his wallet and an on-line certificate on his wall to prove it. And he’s already solved several cases — The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El caso de la pluma perdida (2009), The Lemon Tree Caper / La intriga del limonero (2011), and The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker / El misterio del malvado marcador (2013).
In this new mystery, everyone’s talking about Natalia, who’s just arrived at school. She’s too skinny. Her clothes are worn and shabby. At lunch, she eats too quickly. She sits at her desk too quietly. She doesn’t interact with anyone, never smiles, and never even looks up. Who is this skinny, raggedy, quiet girl? Where is she from? What is she hiding? Continue reading.
A Mystery Bigger Than Big / Un Misterio Mas Grande Que Grandisimo: A Mickey Rangel Mystery / Coleccion Mickey Rangel, Detective Privado by René Saldaña Jr.
Published by Piñata Books on 2016
Genres: Bilingual, Central America
Review Source: De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
Buy at Powell's Books
Publisher's synopsis: Rumors are flying about Natalia, the new girl in school. She's so quiet that everyone is sure she's hiding something. Was her father a drug lord in Mexico, killed by rival gangs? Or were her parents Russian spies, caught doing what spies do? Maybe she's the sole survivor of a plane crash?!? Mickey Rangel, detective extraordinaire, knows all of the stories going around are bogus. But when his arch rival, Bucho, challenges him for the answer, Mickey vows to crack the case of the new girl. He'll prove once and for all that he's the real deal, a private detective! Natalia is peculiar. She's very skinny, and eats her lunch so quickly that Mickey wonders if she got something more appetizing than he did. She never talks, and her shoes and clothing are worn and shabby. But his efforts to discover the girl's secret come up empty, until he overhears a conversation. Is Natalia really one of those undocumented children he has heard about on the news? Did she really travel all the way from Guatemala by herself? Why would she leave her family? And why would her parents let her go? In this fourth installment of the bilingual Mickey Rangel Mystery series, acclaimed author and educator Ren Saldana, Jr. writes a thought-provoking novel for intermediate readers that explores the contemporary issue of immigration from a young person's perspective. And in this case, Mickey learns some hard truths about being a detective and a good person, ultimately realizing that some mysteries are best left unsolved.