“Connections in Chemistry” by R.L. Fink

“Connections in Chemistry” by R.L. Fink 166 265 Reader Views Kids

Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective
Connections in Chemistry

R. L. Fink
Faux Fiction Audio
ISBN: 979-8986084190 (2022)
Reviewed by Grady Darrell, age 10, for Reader Views 

“Connections in Chemistry” is a book in which Mickie, Sam, and Burns, young detectives, have 24 hours to prove Burns innocent, catch a saboteur, and eat doughnuts—well, maybe that’s not exactly part of the mission, but Mickie does have an unhealthy appetite for sweets!

When the chemistry teacher is absent due to a peanut allergy, 8-year-old genius Jamie. P. Burns receives a note saying that she is the most qualified to substitute. She arrives, eager to step into her new role, finding everything all setup. When an experiment blows up in her face, literally, she gets framed for it! At the same time, school computers are going down, and the real culprit has yet to be found. Mickie and Sam, detectives, must race against the clock to prove her innocence and catch the real saboteur, or Burns gets expelled!

If R. L. Fink wished to create a story filled with a captivating plot and adventure, a story to get readers’ gears turning, and a story with a huge twist that none saw coming, I’m positive that she’s succeeded in her quest.

Some of my favorite parts of the book are: 1- every time Mickie asks for sweets, doughnuts, or really anything with sugar because that just had me laughing like crazy (not that I’m that different!) and 2- when AJ Harris, a reporter interested in the young trio, has to go on a fake date with an absolute airhead to help solve the case. Because if anything was funnier than Mickie’s obsession with sweets, it was that. 

I can relate to the book in the case of Burns, an 8-year-old obsessed with learning who is always trying to invent something new. We both love science, and we both love to try to solve the problems we see. Fortunately, I’ve never been framed…oh wait, never mind…

Finks writes well, with descriptive sentences and well-placed metaphors, like on pages 38-39: “AJ gave a good-humored laugh, his smile unexpectedly creating a fluttering feeling in the pit of my stomach like a bird flapping its wings, preparing to fly.” This quote shows not only descriptive sentences but also creativity, varying from the common phrase. (Not everything has to be butterflies, people!)

Overall, I was enthralled by the plot, connected with the characters, and loved the discussion questions at the end. Discussion questions, especially those without a correct answer, are something that I rarely see added to books, but they really helped me get a sense of the deeper message behind this book. 

I would recommend this fantastic book to those who enjoy science, detective books, and a good, funny story. I think it would be best received by an age range of about 8 to 12.

In conclusion, “Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, Connections in Chemistry” is a funny, adventurous, and well-written book that kept me interested from start to finish, and I would recommend it to you as well!

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