Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT

A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT
Jim Averbeck
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
2014


Available: paperback, hard copy & Kindle

Eleven-year-old Jack is orphaned. The year is 1956. His father died in the war before Jack could get to know him. Now is mother has died in an "accident." He doesn't want to think about how or why it happened. After her funeral he is collected by an aunt he hasn't met. She lives at the famous Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Living in such opulent luxury you'd think he'd moved to easy street, but this is not
the case. His aunt uses him as her personal slave and showers more affection on her pet chinchilla. She disappears and Jack teams up with a fictional version of the famous movie director Alfred Hitchcock. Together they track through a complicated to plot of mistaken identities, kidnapping, disguises, and close escapes. Not to mention chocolates!
While not necessary to really appreciate all the twists and turns of the story, one would need to be a Hitchcock fan to appreciate the subtle references to the man and his Hollywood persona. References to his films and legendary practical jokes are sprinkled throughout the story in the clues, chapter headings, settings and pacing of the novel. Jack is a likable character with an amazing ability to draw. He puts this ability to use at the beginning of each chapter.


Target audience: Grades 6-8
Mystery/suspense: Like a Hitchcock movie
Kid appeal: Advanced readers


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