Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks by Alicia G. Ruggieri

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Description: An eleven-year-old in Regency England, Jemima can hardly contain her excitement when she learns that Cousin Aimée is coming for an extended visit.
However, Aimée turns out to be a different sort of girl than Jemima expected. Disdainful and rude but oh-so-accomplished, Aimée certainly doesn’t want Jemima to be her friend… and Jemima doesn’t want to spend any more time with Aimée than she must! Yet when household items start to go missing, including Reverend Sudbury’s heirloom cufflinks, Aimée accuses the Sudburies’ faithful servant Robert of theft.
Secret searches, overheard conversations, and night adventures lead to a solution to this mystery story in which Jemima learns that Jesus can give her the power to love her enemies.

I bought this book when it was on sale, because I thought my youngest sister would like it. I decided to read it one day when I wanted something a bit lighter, and I have to say I was very impressed.

Most stories that are written for children are sub-par writing and written with easy words that often sound like they are talking down to them. You will not find either in this book. The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks is written as well as any book for adults, with a well sized vocabulary, while still having content that is age appropriate and engaging.

Jemima is a girl with many admirable qualities, with many lessons she needs to learn, but a teachable heart. I think that young girls will find they can relate to her as well as learn lessons along with her. I know I really enjoyed her, as she reminded me much of my younger self.

The setting in Regency, England (think Jane Austen) was delightful and unique for children’s fiction. I think those who grow up with Jane Austen or will grow into it eventually will enjoy it.

While this book obviously has a moral point to make, it didn’t preach. The moral was woven skillfully into the story, so that young readers will learn without realizing that they are being taught. Parents and kids will love this story. I know I am looking forward to the next book.

I highly recommend this book for young readers who like mystery, good moral lessons, and strong writing.

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