Danger at the Zoo : A Kit Mystery by Kathleen Ernst
Recommended Ages 7 to 10
The American Girl book series is a well written series by several authors. I love these books because the words American Girl gets their attention, but the stories keep them reading. I hold a monthly book group where we discuss these books. They are mostly historical fiction and the characters often go through some very difficult challenges. The girls who come to the book club amaze me with their thoughts and comments! This book is perfect for young animal and mystery lovers.
Kit Kittredge is a fifth grader growing up during the depression. Her dream is to be become a real reporter. She had been writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper for a while when he offers her a job. She is assigned to write about light subjects for children to lift the mood of the readers. Though she really wants to write hard news, Kit is thrilled for the chance and the opportunity to help her family with the money she will make if the editor likes her stories.
Kit and her family have several borders living with them since her Dad lost his job selling cars. Stirling her friend and border is a Zoo Guide for the Cincinnati Zoo. He offers to give Kit a tour and meet the people who work there so she can write an article. Stirling even helps Will a border and friend of the family get a job there. Things seem to working out well at first. She gets to meet the animals close up and some of the workers. Then on one of Kit’s visits, Will is reprimanded for not securing the monkey house the previous night.
At home, food and Dad’s best suit disappear. This is quite upsetting for the family since they are on a tight budget. Mother does not accuse anyone, but Will is a migrant worker who they have not seen in a while. She is worried because he or one of the other new borders are stealing. Kit wants to prove Will’s innocence at home and the zoo. Will starts to act strangely making Kit question if her loyalty is misplaced. Furthermore, she knows there is an important story to be written about the zoo. Kit is determined to solve these mysteries to keep the animals safe and help her family at any cost!