About the Book
Title: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super Secret | Author: Melissa Perry Moraja | Publication Date: May 5, 2014 | Publisher: Melissa Productions | Pages: 154 | Recommended Ages: 6+ (read-aloud)
Summary: Up until a few days ago, nothing extraordinary had ever happened in ten year old Josh Wunderkind’s life – except eating a whole pot of pasta by himself. But that all changed after a mammoth-sized bird hit him smack on the face with a glob of neon green bird poop, triggering his superhuman Wunderkind ability and leaving him with the responsibility of caring for a baby bird he named Max. Now Josh was just like his older brother and twin sister Madison-super extraordinary! But what Josh didn’t realize was that being superhuman wasn’t all fun and games.
And things only got more complex in Josh’s life when his two siblings and a couple of neighborhood friends persuade him to lead a super crime-solving, neighborhood news team—the Gumshoe News Crew. But not before they agree on the Super Secret and complete Gumshoe Boot Camp.
Find out what the Super Secret is. Will the Gumshoe News Crew complete boot camp? Or will Josh let his team down?
My Thoughts: Ten year-old Josh Wunderkind, the second oldest of the four Wunkerkind children (along with twin sis, Madison) has been feeling left out. Both his older brother Jake and his twin sister Madison have been endowed with super-human powers. Madison can communicate with her Guardian Angel who frequently looks out for her, and Jake can read the thoughts of animals who dwell in the ocean. But things change for Josh when some neon green bird pop hits him in the eye, awakening his extraordinary ability, namely superhuman senses that allow him to see things, hear things, and do things that no other human possibly could.
Banding together with their friends MacKenzie and Justin, the three Wunderkind children form the super-investigative news team, The Gumshoe News Crew. After under-going some training in order to hone their skills as investigators, the crew attempts to solve their first real mystery: where is Isabelle Wunderkind’s (the youngest Wunderkind child) favorite blanket? The new team must work together to solve the crime and return their little sister’s blanket (along with other missing items) to their rightful owners.
Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super Secret is the fifth book in the Wunderkind series by Melissa Perry Moraja. We have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Madison and GA: The Tale of the Slimy Spitball and Madison and GA: The Tale of the Messed Up Talent Show and we loved both of those books. Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew was an absolute hoot to read and I really appreciated how it featured a combination of characters (the Wunderkind children) who vary in age and gender. I like this combination of children and feel that most elementary school child will be able to relate to one character or another in the story. They are each unique and special in their own way – an important underlying message in the book. While the story is told from Josh’s perspective, I thought the collection of characters (Josh, Jake, Madison, Justin, and MacKenzie) worked very well for this story. Even Max the bird was a great addition to the story!
While the two Madison and GA books we read previously featured Madison dealing with real life issues that a middle school girl would likely encounter, this book seemed more about fun and adventure with a sprinkle of silliness. Any book that starts with the main character stating that everything in his life changed after he was hit in the face by some neon green bird poop, you just know is going to grab children’s attention and this one left my children begging me not to stop reading night after night. I can safely report to you that both of my children were absolutely engaged with the story and were frequently laughing out loud as I read the story.
As always, I must comment on the illustrations. There are simple black and white illustrations in every chapter (roughly 1 per chapter) usually featuring one or more of the children along with quirky one-liners. I think they are a great addition to the book (especially with my “picture-hungry” children). Love them!
My Bottom Line: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew is a fun adventure told from the perspective of Madison Wunderkind’s (Madison and GA) twin brother Josh whose extraordinary gift is awakened when he is hit in the face with a glob of green neon bird poop. Together with his older brother Jake, his sister Madison and two friends, the “Gumshoe News Crew”, an investigative news team dedicated to solving mysteries in their community, is formed and this is where the fun begins. This story features a great cast of characters and a hilarious plot which sees the newly formed team go through training and finally solve their first mystery. All of the Wunderkind Family books are great fun and I highly recommend them as read-aloud stories for children ages 6 to 12, especially if you have a wide range of ages to accommodate.
* This book was provided to me by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion Services. *
About the Author: Melissa Perry Moraja
Melissa Perry Moraja, Award-Winning Author and Founder of Melissa Productions, Inc., is an entrepreneurial mom, a multifaceted business woman, a creative producer, and an author and illustrator of numerous modern-fantasy children’s books and self-help books. And that’s just the beginning! Melissa also has published articles, appeared on television, been interviewed on radio, has spoken in front of hundreds of people, and held workshops at local schools, discussing creative learning, publishing and parenting. Her desire to make a difference in her four young children’s lives inspired her to leave her six-salary career at IBM in 2007 to become a full-time mom, children’s author, speaker, and consultant. Melissa spends her personal time coaching soccer and softball, painting, and coming up with fun art projects for her kids. She also blogs for Working Mother blog, has guest blogged for Charlotte Observer Mom’s Charlotte, and has her own personal blog at Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom. Melissa is also committed to building awareness and support for type 1 diabetes. Her twin daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes November 4, 2011. To learn more about Madison’s type 1 diabetes disease please read Madison’s Story.
* Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew Blog Tour Schedule (2014) *
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: June 3, 11:59 pm, 2014
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