The Nighttime Cabin Thief: A Mystery About Light (Summer Camp Science Mysteries)
By: Lynda Beauregard
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: March 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2012
All was quiet at Camp Dakota until Carly stomped into the dining room yelling Braelin's name. Braelin's eyes grew wide as she stood there with her hands on her hips. Angie and Alex sure knew Carly meant business when she walked over to Braelin and demanded he hand over her horsemanship medal. Braelin was the obvious culprit because she claimed, "He's always getting into trouble." Carly didn't figure he was all that smart either because he had on a dark shirt and, as she claimed, "Everyone knows you stay cooler if you wear lighter colors on sunny days."
Carly's lecture had to come to an end because counselor Sanders came to round them all up to head to the art cabin. She showed them how to make their own periscopes and told them all how light was inverted images in the mirrors so that images would "normal" when they looked through the scope. The day was peaceful and around the campfire that night counselor Kyle told them about how Dakota Sioux, Kosumi, learned how to catch fish and how light was refracted. There was something else that needed to be caught at Camp Dakota, and that was a thief. A lot of things started to come up missing, but was Braelin really the culprit or was there some sort of logical explanation?
Told in a graphic novel format, this science mystery will appeal to a wide range of readers, including the reluctant one. The science lessons introduce the concept of light, an important one in the realm of physics. The mystery is fun and the science is woven into it, but doesn't overwhelm the the story. There are numerous informative sidebars scattered throughout the book that explain light science concepts. Undoubtedly, most youngsters who read this mystery, are going to want to try one or both experiments in the back of the book. There are step-by-step instructions on how to make a periscope or create a coin illusion and learn how they work. There is also a list of "Mysterious Words" and some additional tips that might have helped solve the mystery of the "Nighttime Cabin Thief."
Quill says: This is a fascinating mystery that will intrigue young science detectives.