“Should we call the police and tell them what happened? Maureen asked.
“I don’t know that it would do any good,” Mrs. Hoag said. “When I reported the artwork stolen and replaced by other art, they looked at me very oddly. They said thieves don’t replace things they’ve taken. Now I have a yard full of poisoned birds. What’s happening, Maureen?” she asked in a sorrowful voice. “This is making me crazy.”
Book: Maureen the Detective: The Age of Immigration (Sisters in Time Book 17) by Callie Smith Grant, Barbour Publishers, 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 9-15
Subjects: Crime, Adoption, Immigration, Loss of Loved Ones
Summary: She’s crazy! That’s the rumor around town anyway. When Maureen and her cousin find a pursue with Mrs. Hoag’s name in it and return it to her, they see where the rumors came from. The old lady does seem a bit crazy! When they are hired to work for her over the summer though, they start to discover that some of the outrageous things they claim are actually true. She truly does know the president. And she truly IS being robbed from! After the yard is filled with dead birds one day, Maureen suspects someone is intentionally trying to make Mrs. Hoag crazy. But who? And why? It’s time for Maureen and her cousin to become detectives!
Notes: Janie’s Freedom is the nineteenth in the Sisters-In-Time series. This series features young girls living at various key points in American history, particularly around the wars. It always places the girls right at the edge of the teen years, coming of age. The concept of the series it to not only show a glimpse of history, but to help young girls feel that the people back then weren’t that different than the people today.
Maureen The Detective is set in 1903, during the time of high immigration from Ireland. Maureen’s parents have both died and she was adopted by the woman her mom worked for. She’s gone from being a poor immigrant to a relatively well-off citizen. She wrestles a bit with her identity due to that. There is also a struggle a lot of issues with loss as not only is she mourning her loss, but Mrs. Hoag is mourning the loss of her husband and Maureen’s uncle dies leaving her cousin mourning his loss. One of the spiritual emphasis points comes when Mrs. Hoag talks with Maureen about how she let her grief at losing her husband stop her from living. She tells Maureen that you can “get on with the life that God has given you, or you can fight change and be unhappy”. Mostly though, it’s simply a mystery/adventure story with characters that live a moral/religious life.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Job 2:10 - He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.