The Mystery at Moz Hollow
Anne K. Hawkinson, Living Trust (2021)
Reviewed by Grady Darrell, age 8, for Reader Views (09/2021)
“The Mystery at Moz Hollow” is a thrilling 5-star book in which Emma and her best friend, Laura travel to Moz Hollow, where they meet Raza, whose dad is the director of a movie being filmed there, and where Emma’s mom is serving food to the actors. Emma is going to summer school if she doesn’t pass social studies, so she, Laura, and Raza decide to make a movie about Moz Hollow as their social studies project. They soon find an Easter scavenger hunt filled with puzzles and clues that the owner of Moz Hollow’s dad made for her over 50 years ago, and decide to put that in their movie too.
One feature I liked was the clues, which I thought A. K. Hicks made up superbly! They were difficult, well-phrased, and mysterious, which made them exciting and challenging! Emma, Laura, and Raza definitely had a hard time figuring them out, especially as they became increasingly difficult.
One thing I think the author did very well was make you really feel for the characters. For example, Hicks made me feel sad for Raza, because he moves a ton and never really sees his friends for more than a week! I have a hard enough time going to Maine for the summers, and not having friends there (don’t worry, I still love it up there). I can’t even imagine how Raza must feel!
And not only was there a recipe for Granite Boulder Cookies at the end, but there was a bit of cooking woven through the book as the trio frequently helped prepare the meals! A connection I can make is the fact that my dad and I LOVE to cook, and Emma, her mom, and Laura love to cook as well!
I recommend this book to 7.5-12-year-olds who love cooking and mysteries! However, there is a pretty depressing bit in the middle. (If you don’t like books with parts about kids getting in trouble, be warned!)
In conclusion, “The Mystery at Moz Hollow” is a book with mystery, cryptic clues, and adventure, all packed into one great story!