Synopses & Reviews
Meet Minerva Clark: freak-show freak turned detective!
Minerva Clark is a typical thirteen-year-old girl: she hates her hair, she hates her legs (which somehow manage to look both too fat and too skinny at the same time), and don't get her started on her gigantor bootie. On top of all this puberty, she's being raised by three older brothers, none of whom really get her. But when a fateful encounter with a lightning storm rewires her sense of self, Minerva Clark becomes anything but a typical teen. With a brazen new attitude and a nose for trouble, Minerva soon finds herself drawn inexplicably to the scene of a murder and determined to track down the killer. If only all the clues weren't pointing so close to someone she knows...
"Karbo's (The Stuff of Life, for adults) first book for young readers takes a while to click into gear but, once there, cruises along at a speedy clip and takes kids on an entertaining, curve-filled ride. Chatty narrator Minerva, who is devoted to her pet ferret and to creating rebuses, feels self-conscious about her appearance and 'didn't like anything that drew attention to herself.' Since her mother moved away to become a yoga instructor after her divorce from Minerva's constantly traveling lawyer father, the 13-year-old is being raised by her three very different, likable older brothers. The author devises a rather improbable yet effective incident to prompt the turning point in the young teen's life-and in the novel's pace-as Minerva receives a lightning-induced shock that 'rewired her sense of self.' The newly confident heroine stops worrying about her appearance and assumes the role of imaginative sleuth. She tackles a mystery that appears to involve Jordan, her beautiful, smart older cousin, whose identity is stolen by someone accused of a crime; Jordan's two-faced best friend, Minerva's former sitter; and Dwight, a bookstore proprietor and friend of Jordan who is murdered in his shop. The narrator's relationships with her caring siblings and her recurring musings about missing her mother add poignancy to this cleverly tangled whodunit. Minerva will quite easily win fans who will hope that another mystery needs her attention. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Karbo's innovative, good-natured satire of adolescent girl behavior shines when portraying Minerva's quirky but affectionate home life....The 'clues' Minerva gets about how teenagers think or too often don't think are first-rate." Horn Book
"A...cross between Nancy Drew and Adrian Monk." Kirkus Reviews
Minerva is a typical 13-year-old girl until a fateful encounter with a lightning storm rewires her sense of self. With a brazen new attitude and a nose for trouble, she finds herself determined to track down a murderer.
About the Author
Karen Karbo is the author of a memoir, The Stuff of Life, plus several adult novels, including Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, The Diamond Lane, and Trespassers Welcome Here all three of which were New York Times Notable Books and the nonfiction book Generation Ex: Tales from the Second Wives Club. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, the New Republic, the New York Times, and Redbook. This is her first book for young readers. Karen lives in Portland, Oregon.